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Thursday, November 25th, 2010 at 10:00 am  |  20 responses

Rookie Report: Week 4

John Wall and Blake Griffin aren’t human.

by Eldon Khorshidi

Week 4 (Nov. 18 – Nov. 24)

Welcome to the Rookie Report, a weekly judgement and analysis of the NBA’s Young Gunz.

Three times in NBA history has there been Co-Rookies of the Year. Dave Cowens and Geoff Petrie (1970-71), Grant Hill and Jason Kidd (1994-95), Elton Brand and Steve Francis (1999-00). Through one month of the season, mega-rookies John Wall and Blake Griffin already have more highlights than some NBA veterans. This is no joke. Wall’s emergence hit me last week when he was four steals short of a quadruple-double. This week, a 21-year-old kid from Oklahoma City left a dent in my basketball brain. This kid swallowed everything in his path, causing damage and arguably ending a career along the way. The competition was food, and he was at the head of the lunch line. Blake Griffin has arrived. If everything holds up, we may need to add a new tandem to the list.

John Wall

Season: 18.9 ppg, 9.3 apg, 3 spg

Week 4: 25 ppg, 6 apg, 1 statement game

After missing four games with a foot injury, Wall returned Wednesday with a monster performance vs. Philadelphia, posting 25 points and six assists (only one turnover). The rookie certainly took strides towards solidifying himself in the “realest-point-guards-in-the-NBA” conversation.

After putting up a goose-egg in the first two quarters, Sir Wall dropped all 25 of his points in the second half. But his numbers pale in comparison to the confidence, poise, and swagger he displayed.

With time running out in regulation and the Wiz down three, Wall casually drew a shooting foul from 40 feet away, then calmy sank all three free throws. The Wizards got the win, and it was on to the next one. Wall’s moving on, but I’m not.

Through nine career games, John Wall

- Has posted a triple-double (19 points, 13 assists, 10 rebounds, 6 steals)

- Led his team to a comeback win, assuming the title of playmaker and team leader.

- Leads the NBA in steals with 3.4 per game

- Has at least 13 points and six assists in every game this season

Wall leads the rookie class in scoring (tied with Griffin), assists, and steals.

Wall v. Turner: Head to HeadWall V. Turner

 

(Note: This is not a talent comparison, or a “who’s better” segment. It’s merely placing the two John Wall vs. Evan Turner games under a microscope)

The Wizards walked away victorious both times, albeit by a combined three points.

While both players have shown playmaking capabilities, Wall already has a certified “wow” factor that we haven’t seen from ET. But to be fair, Turner played a total of 48 minutes in the two contests, while Wall logged 81 (he leads the rookie class with 38.8 mpg). Turner only took 14 shots compared to Wall’s 31. More opportunities, touches, and game experience will develop Evan Turner’s game.

Numbers can’t buy respect in the NBA, but they’re a good down payment. Still, ultimate respect is earned through winning. The Wizards and Sixers are a combined 8-20, and the rookies have a combined +/- of -70.

Blake Griffin

Season: 18.9 ppg, 11 rpg, 2.3 apg

Week 4: 26.6 ppg, 12 rpg, 3.6 apg

We all knew Blake Griffin was real. But is he this real? Over his past two games, he’s averging 34 points and 14 rebounds. That’s normal…

The dunkfest last Sunday against the Knicks was insane. Every dunk was straight out of NBA 2k11.

In only his first season, Griffin is arguably the most explosive player in the leage. He’s a refreshing mix of old school Shawn Kemp and new schoolBlake Griffin Amar’e Stoudemire. He’s improving every game, and deserves all the external adulation he’s received. Right now I’ve got him as the 10th best power forward in the NBA. Here’s how I see it:

Definetly better than Griffin right now: Pau Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki, Amare Stoudemire, Lamar Odom, Chris Bosh, Tim Duncan

Probably better than Griffin right now: David West, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love

Griffin outplayed Stoudemire last Sunday, posting 44 points, 15 rebounds, and seven rebounds to Amare’s 39, 11, and two. Griffin then proceeded to match up with David West, scoring 24 points and grabbing 13 rebounds.

Blake leads the rookies in points and rebounds, and has put up eight double-doubles in 15 career games.

(*Disclaimer: I don’t hate the L.A. Clippers. In fact, their one of my favorite teams in the league. If it was my choice, I’d want ‘Melo on the Clips. That would be something.

Side Note: With all the talent they have, it baffles me how the Clippers are 2-13. They have an 18 & 10 big man (Griffin), a veteran point guard (Baron Davis), two pretty decent rookies (Aminu and Bledsoe), a reliable 3-point shooter (Rasual Butler), and a solid center (Chris Kaman, when healthy). Not saying they’re a playoff team, but losing to Indiana by 27 just doesn’t make sense. Is it really the Vinny Del Negro effect? I like Vinny, but c’mon man…

On second thought, maybe it’s the usual Clipper syndrome. Like the Detroit Lions and Pittsburgh Pirates, the Clippers may be cursed forever. It’s always over before it even begins.)

Landry Fields

Season: 10.7 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.5 apg

Week 4: 9.5 ppg, 6.75 rpg, 1.5 apg

While Wall and Griffin get all the hype, Landry Fields continues to do work in New York. At this point, he’s a “regular” for the Knicks—which is a huge compliment.

Fields plays within himself and hardly makes any “rookie mistakes,” which has earned him minutes over Bill Walker and Roger Mason. Nearly seven rebounds per game for a rookie wing player is also noteworthy.

Derrick Favors

Season: 7.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg

Favors had a strong week despite only averaging 18 minutes. He had 14 points and eight rebounds against Denver, and should get more minutes because of Troy Murphy’s decreased role.

I thought Favors was going to be a major project, but I’m beginning to second guess myself. On the season, he’s averaging seven and six in only 20 minutes per game, strictly off raw skill. With some development and the correct system, Favors could prove worthy of the No. 3 pick.

DeMarcus Cousins

Season: 10.8 ppg, 6.9 rpg

Cousins had numerous opportunities to impress this week and he delivered. He posted 15 and 10 in a loss to the Knicks, eight and 10 in a win at New Jersey, and 18 and nine against Utah’s frontline of Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson.

I don’t buy the “he’s a cancer to the team and could potentially ruin an organization,” talk that surrounds Cousins. He’s a 6-11 tank who plants himself where he desires, with no outside force able to move him. Although he’s still young, Cousins has struggled on the defensive end throughout the season. Through 13 games, he’s committed at least five fouls seven times—all in 23 minutes of action.

Notes

 

- Clippers rookie Al-Farouq Aminu had 16 points (6-11) and four rebounds in L.A.’s win over New Orleans on Monday. Aminu has scored in double figures in six of his 15 games.

- Wesley Johnson had 15 points and three blocks before fouling out in last nights loss to the Spurs.

-In that same game, Spurs rookie Gary Neal only had six points, but came through when his number was called. Neal was fouled on a 3-pointer with 16 seconds remaining, and hit all three free throws to tie the game.

-Hawks rookie Jordan Crawford had 10 points, seven rebounds, and four assists in 22 minutes against Boston on Monday.

-Blake Griffin leads the NBA with 30 dunks thus far

Thanks for reading the inaugural “Rookie Report.” Another week of NBA ball means more opportunities for rookies to showcase their abilities, and you can get the whole scoop right here. Happy Thanksgiving and God Bless.

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  • http://bugmarley.com LeoneL

    Side Note: With all the talent they have, it baffles me how the Clippers are 2-13. They have an 18 & 10 big man (Griffin), a veteran point guard (Baron Davis), two pretty decent rookies (Aminu and Bledsoe), a reliable 3-point shooter (Rasual Butler), and a solid center (Chris Kaman, when healthy). >>>>Forgot Gordon?

  • http://slamonline.com Eldon Khorshidi

    Wow I did… great point, EG is doing work and deserves some recognition

  • http://slamonline.com Eldon Khorshidi

    @tuxo, missed that too. Up now though

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    @LeoneL. Have you noticed Baron has been injured?

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    **meant @Eldon.

  • http://bugmarley.com LeoneL

    niQ, Yes. That’s why I got Bledsoe on my fantasy team. Why dear sir?

  • http://bugmarley.com LeoneL

    oh sorry niQ. :D

    And here’s Landry Fields wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving: http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs483.ash2/75678_10150132822364616_21410634615_7994977_7687310_n.jpg

  • http://slamonline.com Eldon Khorshidi

    Yes sir, but they’re still 0-4 with him so I put him in there

  • http://bugmarley.com LeoneL

    @Eldon, forgot to say good work on the rookie report. Will be watching out for this segment. I’m keeping an eye on Landry Fields. Steal of last Draft I think.

  • Hammer

    Griffin’s ur ROY. He will not b denied! And then there’s everybody else

  • Ken

    Nice report. Looking forward to future ones, and to seeing what else Blake and Wall do this season.

  • http://slamonline.com Eldon Khorshidi

    @LeoneL and @Ken thanks guys

  • jane

    Blake Griffin will have a monstrous career! ROY :)

  • http://www.slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    Dookie Report: im sure there are maggots in the beach ball sized mass of scat my depends are barely containing

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    I’m not entirely sure why Lamar Odom is in the “Definitely Better” category while Kevin Love isn’t….But a pretty decent analysis.

  • ai come back

    griffin shold be like a part of the lebron team or something……

  • Way up north

    ummmm, it was good and all but mike miller was co rookie of the year with stevie franchise

  • Way up north

    nm i’m wrong it was still good…. should have looked that up before being a smart@ss

  • welj

    nice rookie report. were going to have to watch to see how wall and griffin develop for the rest of the season. If griffin really turns out into a sean kemp style of player, then the clippers may have finally found their foundation, now they just need new ownership.

  • Pingback: SLAM ONLINE | » Rookie Report: Week 5

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