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Monday November 13, 2006 2:27 pm

Rookie Radar: 11.13.06

Adam MorrisonThere haven’t been any downright fantastic rookie performances yet this year, but some rookies have played pretty well.  Brandon Roy, everyone’s favorite rookie, had 19 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists against the Warriors on Friday, November 3rd.  Rudy Gay must have gotten a lot of girls (there’s the first lame joke you’ll hear from me) after his 21 point, 8 rebound, 4 block game against the Knicks Wednesday, November 1st.  Shelden Williams has an incredible 1.000 FT % this year (OK, so it’s only 2-2, but still, give the man some props).  Kyle Lowry had 10 rebounds on opening night against the Knicks, which is kind of weird.
Anyway, since we are a pitiful brood that needs to be reading and researching fantasy basketball 24/7, and probably some of you out there have never had a girlfriend (it’s OK, at least you still have your favorite team), I’ll start a very preliminary rookie ratings list, examining my top five rookies, and their potential input for our fantasy teams in the future.

by Zack Francis

1. Brandon Roy, PG/SG, Portland Trailblazers (Down)

He’s been injured/playing poorly lately, but what Brandon Roy did in his first three games is hard to overlook.  His season averages are worse than they should be because of the last two games he’s played, when he’s played just a combined 20:53 due to an injured heel.  If you get his averages from the first three games, the games he played when he wasn’t injured, his averages would be 18.3 points, 4.3 boards, and 5 dimes a game.  Not too shabby.  I think he should stay around that set of numbers this year, just maybe with a few less points.  I’d say something like 16 PPG, 4 RPG, and 4 APG is definitely not out of the question.  Still, I can’t ignore the injury, and for this week at least, he’s gone down.
2. Rudy Gay, SG/SF, Memphis Grizzlies (Up)

It would be way too easy to make a “gay” joke here, so I’ll refrain from doing so.  Still, Rudy’s been scoring like a man on a march (whoops).  As referenced earlier, he dropped 21 points, and grabbed 8 rebounds on opening Wednesday.  After a disappointing 2 points on November 3rd, he bounced back with 10 points and 9 boards the following day, and hasn’t looked back since, getting 12 and 2, and 14 and 9,(points and rebounds, respectively), in the next two games.
3. Adam Morrison, SG/SF, Charlotte Bobcats (Level)

Yeah, he’s cried on national television (see; commercial, last year), but Adam Morrison has had nothing to cry about this year… aside from maybe a 1-4 record for his Bobcats.  He has had a good year scoring the ball though.  He went go on to say in the commercial that more people will cry when he came into the NBA, and so far that hasn’t really been the case, but hey, it’s only because he cut the mustache.  Paging Mr. Morrison… PEOPLE FEARED THE STACHE!  Anyway, he’s been pretty good this year.  He scored double digits in each of his first four games (14, 21, 13, and 12 points, respectively), and dropped 9 points on November 10th against the Sonics.  Still, he’s averaging 13.8 points per game, solid output from a solid scorer doing exactly what most people figured he would do… score, and nothing else.  Oh, and just for the record, I don’t think he’s cried yet.
4. Marcus Williams, PG, New Jersey Nets (Level)

Williams has been having a decent year across the board, and if Kidd gets hurt, he has the opportunity to put up wicked stats.  Still, he’s been pretty solid, good enough for the official Zack Francis Rookie Rankings.  He’s averaged 7.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game for the 2-2 Nets.  He dropped 10 points with 4 assists on November 10th, and saw 21 minutes of game time, up from his last two games of 17 and 16 minutes, respectively.  If he continues to see 20-25 minutes a game, his numbers should be up around 10 PPG, 3 boards, and 4 assists per game, at the least.  And if Kidd goes down, pounce on him like a naked lady.
5. Shelden Williams, PF, Atlanta Hawks (Level)

Yes, he has a 1.000 FT%.  But he’s good for other things as well.  He’s in a crowded frontcourt with Zaza Pachulia and Lorenzen Wright also competing for minutes, but he’s managed to get 19 minutes a game, and is the second-leading rookie rebounder with 5.3 boards per game (Gay leads all rooks with 5.6 a game).  His offensive production has been inconsistent, netting 0, 2, 2, 8, 8, and 2 points respectively in his first two games.  But while his offense has been up and down, his rebounding has been up and… pretty much up, aside from his 2-board game November 5th against Orlando.  He should continue to see about 20 minutes a game, and if Zaza goes OwOw and gets hurt, pounce on him like he’s Marcus Williams.
Honorable Mentions

Thabo Sefolosha, PG/SG, Chicago Bulls (Down)

He started the season like a bat out of hell, netting 10 and 13 points in his first two games.  Since, though, all of his stats have been all over the place.  His minute totals show this, as he’s gotten 7, 22, 26, and 12 minutes in his last 4 games, respectively (wow, how many more freaking times can I use respectively?).
Rajon Rondo, PG/SG, Boston Celtics (Level)

Rondo had a great preseason, but has been wildly inconsistent this season.  Still, when he gets the minutes, he could be tight, as evidenced by his 13 point game last Friday.  He doesn’t seem to be getting too many minutes behind Sebastian Telfair and Delonte West, but could be good if he gets the time.



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