Rankings the rooks: NBA Rookie Report
1. Damian Lillard (PG - POR): Lillard's play has come down to earth a little bit, but he's still worthy of the top spot on this list. He has averaged 19.3 points on 47.5% shooting over the past week, and has led his team to a 3-1 record over that span. His biggest problem has been his assist to turnover ratio, which was 4.8:3.5 last week, but it remains at 6.1:3.3 on the season, so I couldn't drop him out of this position on the list. On the season, Lillard is now averaging 19 points (44.7% shooting), 6.1 assists, and 1.5 steals, while playing by far the most minutes (37.5) of any rookie.
2. Anthony Davis (PF - NO): Davis almost lost his top two position after two bad shooting games to start the week, but his Saturday night performance reminded us why he was the top pick in the draft. Davis scored 28 points (71% shooting) with 11 rebounds and went 8-9 from the free throw line against the Bucks on Saturday. Davis is now averaging 16.0 points (49.3% shooting), 8.3 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game on the season.
3. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (SF - CHA): MKG has been a bit inconsistent and got himself into some foul trouble last week, but in the two games that he played over 20 minutes, he averaged 13.5 points (67% shooting), 8.0 rebounds, and a block. Through eight games, the Bobcats are just three wins away from matching last year's total, and the play of Kidd-Gilchrist is one of the key reasons why. The NBA's youngest player is now averaging 11.3 points (49.3% shooting), 7.0 rebounds (2nd among rookies), 1.6 blocks (2nd among rookies), and 1.1 steals (3rd among rookies).
4. Alexey Shved (PG/SG - MIN): The little-known Russian combo guard has really started to find his rhythm over the past week, during which he scored at least 13 points in each of his three games. His standout performance was a 22 points, 7 assist, 3 rebound game against the Warriors on Friday night. His field goal percentage remains a concern, though he has shot 48.1% from the field over his past two games. Earning more minutes as the season goes on, Shved could eventually make a push into the top three. He's now averaging 10.4 points (38.3% shooting), 4.2 assists, and 3.1 rebounds on the season.
5. Harrison Barnes (SF - GS): Barnes barely squeezed himself into the top ten last week, but has since proven that he deserves to be on this list. He averaged 16.3 points and 7.7 rebounds last week, shooting the ball an impressive 51.4% from the field. He could have jumped Alexey Shved if not for a somewhat disappointing 12 point, 1 rebound performance on Sunday, but his early week performances can't be overlooked. Now averaging 10.7 points (48.2% shooting) and 4 rebounds on the year, Barnes should be in for more minutes and more solid performances.
6. Dion Waiters (SG - CLE): Waiters was all the rage at the beginning of the season, but has since played a little closer to how I expected coming into the year. He's averaged 9.7 points on 15.0 shots over his past three games, shooting an abysmal 20% from the field. He averaged 1.7 steals over that span, but solid defense can't quite make up for that type of offensive inefficiency. He's still 3rd among rookies with 13.7 points per game, which is why he didn't drop farther down than 6th on this list, but his 38.8% shooting, 2.0 assists, and 2.2 rebounds combined to knock him out of the top five.
7. Bradley Beal (SG - WAS): Beal has followed a path similar to that of Waiters, putting together some great performances, but hitting a wall over the past week. Beal's shooting struggles have him getting far less minutes than he was two weeks ago, and as a result, his numbers have dropped significantly across the board. He scored 7.3 points per game on 22.6% shooting last week, and didn't put up halfway decent numbers in any other category. His 10.9 points per game (5th among rookies) on the season is the only reason he's still on this list, but if he doesn't get his game turned around this week, he's in danger of dropping out of the top ten.
8. Andre Drummond (C - DET): I had a hard time deciding where to put Drummond, because he only gets 15.4 minutes per game, but he's very efficient the little time he has on the court. His best performance was over a week ago, in which he put up 22 points and 8 rebounds, but he has since been solid when called upon. His per-36-minutes averages are what got him into the top ten. Based on the 15.4 minutes per game that Drummond plays, he would be on pace to average 15.3 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.3 blocks, and 1.9 steals if given 36 minutes per game (about the same amount of minutes as Lillard). Combine that with his 69.8 field goal percentage, and Drummond has found himself in the top ten. He averages 6.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.0 block on the season.
9. Jonas Valanciunas (C - TOR): JV has four games with less than 5 points, three games with more than 9 points, and three games in between, making him one of the more inconsistent rookies in the league. However, his spotty good performances have him in the top ten in points, rebounds, blocked shots, and field-goal percentage among rookies. He needs show up on the court on a more consistent basis, but he's certainly worthy of a top ten spot at this point in the season. His season averages are 7.6 points (46.2% shooting), 5.1 rebounds, and .6 blocks.
10. Kyle Singler (SF/PF - DET): Singler has now put together three straight games with 14+ points, propelling him to 8th among rookies in scoring. He hasn't contributed much else in the way of statistics, but he's extremely efficient with his shots and has on-court intangibles that simply don't show up on the stat sheets. On the season, Singler is averaging 9.7 points (51.9% shooting, 47.8% from three), 2.7 rebounds, and .8 blocks.
Just Missed the Cut: Jae Crowder (SF/PF - DAL), Tyler Zeller (PF/C - CLE), Brian Roberts (PG -NO)
Be sure to check back each Monday for the updated NBA Rookie Rankings.