Once again it’s that time to rank the top rookies of the National Basketball Association for the past week. And once again it’s some of the regulars who’ve made our list weekly with another valid “ROOK” who cracked the list last week showing his staying power.
READ MORE: The Shadow League’s NBA Rookie Meter 4
MELO STILL BALLIN’
First, we’ll begin in the “Queen City” of Charlotte where the youngest of the Ball brothers continues to impress and show why he’s the front-runner for NBA Rookie Of The Year. LaMelo Ball went for 24 points, 10 assists and 7 rebounds with 7 triples in a big win over the Rockets.
Ball joins Stephen Curry and Jason Kidd as the only rookies to have at least 7 threes and 10 assists in a game. His passing has long been his best skill. But he’s a very good rebounderr and if he’s taking shots on balance and in rhythm, he’s a solid shooter. He’s averaging 22-6-6 in his first five NBA starts.
HALIBURTON STILL HURTIN’ EM
Secondly, we have Kings’ cerebral combo guard Tyrese Haliburton who just oozes leadership and maturity in his play and actions. His shooting has cooled off a bit, but head coach Luke Walton praises his clutch gene and toughness.
He has really been huge in the development of Kings star De’Aaron Fox who’s able to play off the ball more now with Haliburton handling the ball and getting them in their sets. It’s to the point where Fox should be an All-Star. Haliburton posted his career-high of 23 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds while shooting 8-12 from the field and 4-7 from three in a 119-114 win over the Nuggets.
READ MORE: The Shadow League’s 2021 NBA Rookie Meter 2
Anthony Edwards Is The Light In Darkness
Thirdly, we shift our focus to the “Twin Cities” where the #1 overall pick Anthony Edwards has been lighting it up for the Minnesota Timberwolves as of late. Minnesota is tied with Detroit for the worst-record in basketball at 6-18 and the year has been rough with star player Karl Anthony-Towns fighting through the mental anguish of having COVID after having lost seven family members to the deadly virus.
He recently tested positive for COVID after losing 7 of his family members to it, including his mom, grandmother, and uncle. https://t.co/5zyd8wovip
— conor (@chrondor_) February 6, 2021
Anthony has picked up the slack along with his own efficiency of late. In his first 16 games, he averaged 12 points per game, on 34% shooting from the field, and 27% from 3-point range.
Since that time he’s averaging 18 points per game while shooting 47% from the field and 50% (15-30) from beyond the arc while stringing together some 20 point plus scoring performances.
Knicks Quickley Uncover A Hidden Gem
Next up is the former Kentucky Wildcats and John Carroll HS (Bel Air MD) star Immanuel Quickley, who’s looking like the Knicks point guard of the future. The rise of Quickley has been a revelation for the star thirsty Knicks. Each time he takes the floor he looks more and more like the steal of the draft after being taken (25th).
He’s captivated fans with his deadly floater, a shot he’s been using since his younger days and seems to have perfected it. He’s scored 62 points on that shot this season. Only Luka Doncic and Trae Young have scored more. He also leads rookies with three games of at least 25 points. IQ has shown Tom Thibodeau that Quick City possesses the innate ability to take over games.
READ MORE: The Shadow League’s NBA Rookie Meter 3
Lastly, Rookie James Wiseman continues to play well for the Warriors. The 7-footer is still learning the speed and physicality of the game, but his potential is off the charts. Recently taken out of the starting lineup, in Steve Kerr’s effort to shake things up a bit, Wiseman actually performed really well in his new role before suffering a wrist injury.
He’s been out of action for a few games, but there’s a possibility he could return during the team’s four-game road trip to Dallas and San Antonio. Again the knowledge he’s getting from Draymond Green daily is invaluable.
Jae’Sean Tate (Houston Rockets) – The undrafted Rockets product has shown some real promise for first-year head coach Stephen Silas. Silas loves his grit and toughness. His willingness to rebound and limit turnovers is something all coaches love.
Tyrese Maxey (Philly 76ers) – The instant offensive weapon off of Doc Rivers’ bench has had some really good moments this season. Even scored 39 in a game for the Sixers and led a fourth-quarter comeback against the Pacers helping Philly to a comeback win against the Pacers. His on-ball defense is the best of any of the draft picks in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Theo Maledon – (OKC) The virtually unknown rookie down in Oklahoma City, has been solid for the Thunder with George Hill out after thumb surgery. As a starter, he’s averaging 13 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists.
Also showing the ability to shoot it from deep by going (12-21) from 3-point range. Even posted a career-high 24 points and 6-6 from three (tied a rookie record) last week.