The New Orleans Hornets’ Anthony Davis has certainly lived up to his drafts night hype, averaging 16 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game after entering the season as the No.1 contender for the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. But after a few injuries, missing a couple of games with a concussion and most recently being sitting out with an ankle injury, the course of the Awards could change course anytime soon.
His intelligence is remarkable for a 19-year-old rookie, entering the drafts after just a year of college. But Anthony Davis seems to have less of an issue with the learning curve compared to the rest of his competition.
The New Orleans Hornets (who are 1-4 without Anthony Davis) anxiously await the return of their golden boy; but meanwhile a lot of other rookies have gotten off to a great start and the Rookie of the Year Award competition could turn out to be the most exciting outcome of this season.
Here’s an overview of Anthony Davis’ chief competition for the Rookie of the Year Award from around the league.
Harrison Barnes, Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors gained extraordinary talent by drafting Harrison Barnes with the seventh overall pick out of North Carolina. Harrison Barnes blends-in well with the young talent on Golden State Warriors offense such as point guard Stephen Curry and rising shooting guard Klay Thomas.
Harrison Barnes has two double-doubles so far in the season, averaging 10.8 points and 4.5 rebounds on a 47 percent from the field, including nearly 37 percent from the arc. Here’s where Stephen Curry comes in, as he will open the shot for Harrison Barnes by drawing the opposing defense towards himself.
Although, the return of Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut could reduce Harrison Barnes’ possessions, it will give him an opportunity to show-off those long-jumper skills.
Add-in Harrison Barnes’ solid scoring numbers and attempts on the board and you’ve got a legitimate contender for the Rookie of the Year race.
Dion Waiters, Cleveland Cavaliers
The former sixth man out of Syracuse has been one of the most pleasant surprises out of the drafts this season. Dion Waiters elevated in the drafts, ultimately being chosen on a fourth overall pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers owing to his remarkable athleticism despite being an undersized guard.
The rookie shooting guard Dion Waiters is handling things on both sides of the court, averaging 14.8 points and 1.1 steals per game on over 38 percent shooting from the field and under 42 percent from the arc.
But with the reigning Rookie of the Year, Kyrie Irving sidelined with a fractured finger, the Cleveland Cavaliers increased Dion Waiters’ minutes, which means he’s capable of making a run for the Rookie of the Year award, for the first time without having to share the spotlight with Irving. Dion Waiters posted 16 points and six assists in his first backcourt dominating performance, ending the Cleveland Cavaliers’ seven-game losing streak in a 21st matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers. The 20-year-old had 25 points, five assists and two steals just two nights later against the Orlando Magic.
If Dion Waiter nabs the Rookie of the Year Award, it will be Cleveland Cavaliers’ second straight title.