Another week is just about in the books, which means it’s time to look in the rearview mirror of Week 4 of the 2010 NBA Basketball season and see how our young lads for the 2010 NBA Draft on holding up.
John Wall is banged up and missing action, which by default, gives the equally impressive Blake Griffin the top spot for this week’s rookie rankings. Regardless of where you have them ranked, there’s no doubt that both of these guys have been weekly fantasy basketball beasts, and should continue to thrive in their first seasons. Read on to catch some analysis on the top two rooks, as well as the other eight guys who round out this week’s list:
1. Blake Griffin, PF, Las Angeles Clippers
2010 stats: 34.3 MPG, 16.5 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 1.8 APG, 48.6% FG
His points and boards have dipped a bit since his hot start, but he has to be missing Chris Kaman’s help on the inside. He’s handling the pressure to live up to his potential quite well, and averaging a double-double is no easy task, especially as a first-year big. He has defensive lapses from time to time, but he’s still an offensive machine that has yet to score below 10 points in a game on the season.
2. John Wall, PG, Washington Wizards
2010 stats: 39.1 MPG, 18.1 PPG, 9.8 APG, 4.0 RPG, 3.3 SPG, 43.9% FG, 26.8% 3 PT
Wall is killing it from all over the floor. He’s burning the courts up in minutes and assists, while averaging a masterful and astounding 3.3 steals per game. An injury has kept him out of his team’s past two contests, so he drops by default in this week’s rankings, despite still holding the statistical edge over every other rookie on the season.
3. Eric Bledsoe, PG, Los Angeles Clippers
2010 Stats: 31.1 MPG, 9.8 PPG, 5.2 APG, 4.0 RPG, 1.3 SPG, 47.2% FG, 33.3% 3 PT
The Clippers aren’t winning games and Bledsoe isn’t putting up John Wall numbers, but a lot needs to be said about this young man’s rising game. Firstly, he’s taken over an inconsistent offense that is very young and erratic, while also rendering veteran point guard Baron Davis suddenly expendable. That, and he’s doing all of this, while putting up decent numbers, in his first year on the big stage, and his first year as a true point guard.
4. Landry Fields, G/F, New York Knicks
2010 stats: 27.5 MPG, 10.8 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 1.4 APG, 58.4% FG, 30.8% 3 PT
Fields has been a starter since day one in New York, and really hasn’t ever looked back. The second-round pick out of this past year’s draft shoots the ball extremely well, plays defense, hits the boards, and makes excellent decisions. In other words, he does all the right things that the majority of the other Knicks’ players don’t. He’s been scoring in double figures lately as if it’s easy at the NBA level, while turning in a massive double-double this week with 21 points and 17 rebounds against the Denver Nuggets. He isn’t the flashiest of rookies, but there’ no doubt about his worth right now, which helps plug him inside the top 5.
5. Evan Turner, G/F, Philadelphia 76ers
2010 stats: 30.4 MPG, 9.3 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 2.1 APG, 42.2% FG, 11.1% 3 PT
Turner has turned up his level of play recently, and with the injury woes and trade speculation surrounding Andre Iguadola, it seems he’s starting to find his niche in his first season. His season stats aren’t elite yet, and even his recent lines aren’t much to talk about, but it’s important to note his progress. Since being inserted into Philly’s starting lineup six games ago, he’s put up two double-double efforts. Once Turner finally finds some consistency in his shooting stroke, he could catch fire in these rankings.
6. DeMarcus Cousins, F/C, Sacramento Kings
2010 stats: 22.3 MPG, 10.8 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 1.2 APG, 41.1% FG
Cousins is already butting heads with the coaching staff to a certain degree, and has also lost his spot in the starting lineup. There’s no telling if this is just to keep him in check or if it’s permanent, but his minutes have taken a hit, as has his production. While he’s arguably the third most talented player on this list (at least), he can’t climb with a poor role and bad production at the moment.
7. Wesley Johnson, SF, Minnesota Timberwolves
2010 stats: 28.5 MPG, 9.9 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 2.2 APG, 40.8% FG, 35.6% 3 PT
Johnson’s season line isn’t bad, and he’s still getting solid minutes as a member of the starting lineup in Minnesota. The most encouraging sign is that it looks like he’s starting to find his shot. He’s still a work in progress, especially with more prolific scorers (Kevin Love and Michael Beasley) stealing the show.
8. Derrick Favors, PF, New Jersey Nets
2010 stats: 20.3 MPG, 7.5 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 53.3% FG
Everyone knew how raw Favors was coming into the season, and despite having a lot of room to grow, Favors is still putting up decent averages in just over 20 minutes per game. You’d like to see more points, but his lack of a scoring prowess has nothing to do with efficiency or strength, as he only attempts 5.5 shots per game. Favors main flaw continues to be foul trouble, but once he can stay on the floor without any major defensive concerns, he could quickly grow into a fierce post threat.
9. Al-Farouq Aminu, F, Los Angeles Clippers
2010 stats: 17 MPG, 7.5 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 1.1 SPG, 46.7% FG, 54.2% 3 PT
Aminu has a pretty nice well-rounded game. He won’t get the exposure or props he appropriately deserves, as he’s third in the pecking order (as he should be) behind Blake Griffin and Eric Bledsoe, but he’s still got some game. He’s getting more out-spoken with his performances every week, and it’ll be interesting to see how much more productive he gets as the season wears on.
10. Gordon Hayward, G/F, Utah Jazz
2010 stats: 11.3 MPG, 2.7 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 41.2% FG, 14.3% 3 PT
Hayward’s minutes and production are sporadic at best right, now but the next best guys (Monroe and Henry) also have been very inconsistent as of late. Hayward gets the nod here simply based off of his awesome one-handed jam in traffic this week. The analysts calling the game said they didn’t think he had it in him. Neither did we. Kid can ball.
Honorable Mentions: Greg Monroe, Xavier Henry, Paul George, James Anderson