We continue our weekly journey of the “NBA FROSH” at the Shadow League. And this week we have a bit of a shakeup in our rankings.
I still believe the Rookie of the Year winner will be Charlotte Hornets rookie sensation LaMelo Ball, even though he’s been injured.
Why? Because prior to injury no rookie affected winning more than the baby Ball brother. Guess what? He may return this season as his broken wrist is healing at a much faster clip than expected and the Hornets are hopeful they’ll get their Uber floor-talented reader back for the playoff push.
This week I have Timberwolves rook and top overall pick Anthony Edwards in the top spot. Last week Edwards received a ringing endorsement from Clippers star Paul George following a matchup. PG13 praised “AntMans” elite athleticism and power. Called him a three-level scorer with superstar potential. This after 23 from Edwards against the Clips.
He’s averaging 18/5/3 for the season, but this past week he averaged 21/5/4.
Next up is Saadiq Bey the marksman for the Pistons. Bey came into the NBA ready to contribute to any team that drafted him. He’s shot the three-ball well all season but struggled, missing 14 of 16 before catching fire against the Cavs.
In that game, he went 6-11 and seemed to find the stroke that made him NBA Player of the Week a couple of months ago. He shoots only 41.2% from the floor and a huge part of that is 68% of his attempts come from three. He’s shown more shot creation as of late and that’s the next part of his development to become an elite 3 and D contributor in “Motown.”
The Rockets are awful and have been a dumpster fire just about all season, but Jae’Sean Tate has been impressive on both ends for rookie head coach Stephen Silas.
The Rocket awful season has opened up opportunities for Tate and he’s taken advantage of his moment, flexing his versatility and showing he belongs among the greatest players on the planet.
He’s played small forward and even point guard when John Wall missed a game. He plays hard and aggressive as evidenced by his weekly bloody noses. He does a little bit of everything for the Rockets and they love his effort and intensity.
Tyrese Haliburton was easily the biggest challenge to LaMelo Ball winning the “ROY” award. He has been solid all season but this month he’s struggled a bit, as have the Kings who are 1-10 in April. He was named the Western Conference Rookie of the Month the first two months.
Haliburton still possesses a 5/1 assist to turnover ratio although he’s struggled a bit with his shot lately. He’s cerebral and does other things that don’t show up in the stat sheet every night.
Desmond Bane continues to provide range shooting and toughness for upstart Grizzlies.
Isaiah Stewart plays hard and tough for the rebuilding Pistons. He and Bey are pieces they should keep around in “Motown.”
Immanuel Quickley is beginning it pick it back up for the highly impressive Knicks, who are now winners of nine straight and currently fourth in the Eastern Conference.
Xavier Tillman is from Michigan State and one thing about big men from Sparty, they come to the NBA ready mentally and physically thanks to the coaching of Tom Izzo. Tillman is no different and he’s been huge for the Grizzlies minus Jaren Jackson Jr, who returned late this week.