Rookie Of The Year Watch – 11/15/17
Two weeks faraway from Basketball Insiders’ unique check-in on the Rookie of the Year race, the 2017 rookie class has had their fair proportion of ups, downs and surprises. Some have posted large numbers whereas others have struggled to carry out or stay constant. While struggles are to be anticipated of most rookies, that consistency — or lack thereof — will hold gamers both on or off this listing for almost all of the season.
All that stated, right here’s the second take a look at the Rookie of the Year Watch listing.
6. Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz
While Mitchell had a sluggish begin to the season, he has actually come on in November for the Utah Jazz.
Mitchell is presently averaging 14.6 factors, 2.5 rebounds, 2.four assists and 1.four steals per sport. With Rudy Gobert lacking time, Mitchell has stepped as much as assist fill the void offensively whereas taking part in excellent protection. Mitchell ranks third amongst rookies in Defensive Rating at 99.7 factors per 100 possessions. He is second amongst rookies in utilization fee at 29.5 % as nicely.
Mitchell struggles along with his effectivity — he presently is capturing simply 38.1 % from the ground on greater than 14 shot makes an attempt per sport — and he’ll proceed to take action as he feels out the NBA. Between the departure of Gordon Hayward, Gobert’s current damage and the general poor play from offseason acquisition Ricky Rubio, the offense has lacked an actual punch this season and, due to that, Mitchell will proceed to see alternatives come his approach regardless of his inconsistencies.
5. Dennis Smith Jr., Dallas Mavericks
Dennis Smith Jr.’s athleticism is actually a sight to behold. It can be one thing that can make the eight groups that handed him on draft night time remorse it.
Smith is averaging 15.eight factors (second amongst rookies), four.2 rebounds and four.7 assists per sport whereas capturing 40.6 % from the ground and 32.four % from three. He grew to become the youngest participant to document not less than 10 assists in his debut and, extra not too long ago, grew to become the youngest in Dallas Mavericks franchise historical past to document 25 factors and 5 rebounds per sport, passing Dirk Nowitzki. He has the very best utilization fee amongst all rookies and is fifth amongst them in help proportion, coming in at 29.9 and 28.four %, respectively.
Smith nonetheless has some issues to work out of his sport. He can nonetheless look disinterested at instances, an issue that has trailed him since his time at NC State. His protection might use plenty of work as nicely, as he presently ranks final amongst rookies in Defensive Rating at 113.7. That being stated, the way forward for the purpose guard place is wanting brilliant for the Mavericks with Smith within the fold.
four. Lauri Markkanen, Chicago Bulls
Lauri Markkanen continues to impress for the Chicago Bulls as the primary month of the season passes, averaging 14.5 factors, 7.eight rebounds and 1.5 assists.
Leading all rookies in three-point makes an attempt and three-pointers made per sport with 6.7 and a pair of.four, respectively, Markkanen is capturing 35.1 % from past the arc, fourth amongst all rookies. He is capturing 43.three % from the ground and appears to be an offensive centerpiece for the Bulls going ahead.
While he’ll possible by no means be an elite defender, Markannen is fast on his toes and might make it tough for different gamers in area. As he grows and places on extra muscle, his protection ought to enhance. Markkanen has held his personal on the boards as nicely, averaging 9.2 rebounds per 36 minutes. Again, as he places on extra weight, Markkanen ought to enhance on this space, too.
three. Kyle Kuzma, Los Angeles Lakers
Kyle Kuzma will be the most spectacular rookie on this listing relative to their draft place. Taken 27th general by the Los Angeles Lakers, the rookie ahead is wanting like an absolute steal whereas outperforming all expectations.
Kuzma is presently averaging 14.9 factors, 6.eight rebounds and 1.four assists in 31.1 minutes per sport whereas capturing 50.2 % from the sphere and 32.1 % from three. Kuzma has posted 4 double-doubles, averaging 17.5 factors and 11.5 rebounds in these 4 video games. His versatility has been placed on show as nicely since taking on within the beginning lineup for Larry Nance Jr.
One month in, Kuzma has quietly — or not so quietly, relying on who you ask — outperformed highly-touted fellow rookie and teammate Lonzo Ball. While Ball will possible come round, Kuzma is definitely a nice shock for each the Lakers and basketball followers alike.
2. Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics
Jayson Tatum was and stays a vital piece to the Boston Celtics’ puzzle.
Averaging 13.6 factors, 5.eight rebounds and 1.6 assists per sport, the ahead out of Duke continues to play nicely above preliminary expectations. Among gamers with 20 minutes performed, Tatum leads all rookies and is fifth within the NBA in Defensive Rating, and presently leads all rookies with a Net Rating of seven.eight. The ahead is capturing 50 % from the sphere and 48.9 % from three on over 9 and three makes an attempt per sport, respectively, whereas taking part in with the poise of a veteran late in video games, capturing 66.7 % from the sphere and hitting on 50 % of his makes an attempt from three in clutch time.
Tatum is taking part in in contrast to most 19-year-olds on the NBA stage; he has a poise and confidence about him and is consistently making good, successful performs. The Celtics will want him to proceed to be efficient in the event that they hope to take care of their spot on the high of the Association.
1. Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers
Ben Simmons nonetheless stands head and shoulders above the sphere within the Rookie of the Year race.
Heading into play on November 15th, Simmons is averaging 17.eight factors, 9.2 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 1.7 steals per sport whereas taking part in 34.three minutes per contest. He leads all rookies in factors, rebounds and assists per sport, subject targets made, and minutes. He’s posted two triple-doubles and 6 double-doubles on the season as nicely.
While he continues to run the ground for and contribute on the defensive finish for the Philadelphia 76ers, it’s laborious to think about anybody gaining a lot floor on Simmons for the foreseeable future.