NBA Rookie Rankings (Nov. 26)

NBA Rookie Rankings: Lillard still on top

11/26/12 in NBA   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

An ankle injury to the top pick has opened the door for other players to make a run at a top spot. Here's how the rookies rank as of November 26th:

1. Damian Lillard (PG -POR): Just another week at the office for Lillard. As of now, it doesn't look like he'll ever give up his top spot. The league's most consistent rookie is playing like a seasoned veteran, and he finds ways to help his team every single night. He averaged 26.0 points through his first two games last week. In his third game, he had a poor shooting night, but helped out in other areas, racking up six rebounds, seven assists, two steals, and two blocked shots. It's going to be tough to knock this kid out of the top spot.
Nov 24, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal (3) is fouled by Charlotte Bobcats small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14) during the first half at the Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE
2. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (SF - CHA): MKG continued his stat-sheet-stuffing ways last week, giving him the right to be runner-up to the seemingly invincible Damian Lillard. Kidd-Gilchrist has been contributing in tons of different ways, averaging 12.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.8 steals, and 1.3 blocks over the past week. He also averaged only .8 turnovers during that span. He's scored in double-figures in eight of his last nine games, and is a huge part of why the Bobcats currently find themselves in a playoff spot.

3. Dion Waiters (SG - CLE): Waiters bounced back from a very poor stretch of games to score 19.0 points per contest last week. His season high in assists had been 5 previous to last week, but he has dished out 5+ assists in two of his past three games. His shooting percentage absolutely needs to come up (38% on the season), but he's putting up points and learning to contribute in ways other than scoring.

4. Harrison Barnes (SF - GS): Barnes started off the week with a bang, scoring 20 points and grabbing 12 rebounds last Monday. However, he didn't top 10 points in his following three games. He was limited to 15 minutes in one of those games, in part due to foul trouble. Regardless, he averaged 10.8 points on 45.7% shooting with 7.5 rebounds per game last week, so he's worthy of a top five position on this list.

5. Jonas Valanciunas (C - TOR): The Raptors may have played terribly last week (0-4), but at least they can be happy about the play of their young center. Valanciunas averaged 14.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 2.3 blocks over four games last week. He also shot a fantastic 63.9% from the field and 80% from the foul line. He seems to have earned the trust of the coaching staff (three straight games with 30+ minutes), so you can expect more consistent play out of the Lithuanian going forward.
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11/27/12   |   dannomack

Hi, the Raptors didn't "play terribly" last week considering one L was a double OT L and the other two were by one point (one of which the NBA has since apologised for missing a foul on the last shot of the game that should have given Bargniani two free throws with no time left on the clock).