2009-10 NBA: Rookie of the Year Race

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank.
Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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2009-10 NBA: Rookie of the Year Race

Updated 12/18

1. Brandon Jennings, Bucks (Last Week Ranking: #1)

’09-’10: 20.7 ppg, 6.0 apg, 3.8 rpg, 1.0 spg

My ’09-’10 Prediction: 12 ppg, 7 apg, 2 spg

Jennings has faded a bit since the scorching hot start to his rookie season. He has only scored more than 20 points two times in his last 12 games (it’s strange to say “only” about a rookie.) Even though his point total has dipped a bit, Jennings’ is getting other players involved as his assists have increased.

2. Tyreke Evans, Kings (LWR: #2)

’09-’10: 20.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 5.0 apg, 1.5 spg

My ’09-’10 Prediction: 17.5 ppg, 5 rpg, 6 apg, 2 spg

Evans came up huge in his first opportunity on primetime TV with 26 points, 6 boards, and 6 assists in the Kings victory against the Wizards on ESPN. Evans is outplaying Jennings as of late, but still remains a slight bit behind Jennings in the Rookie of the Year Race.

3. Jonny Flynn, Timberwolves (LWR: #3)

’09-’10: 14.0 ppg, 4.3 apg, 2.4 rpg, 1.1 spg

My ’09-’10 Prediction: 15 ppg, 7 apg, 1.75 spg

Flynn proved that as he goes, so go the Timberwolves for the most part. In Minnesota’s two-point win at Utah, Flynn dropped 28 points on 11 of 19 shooting in just 29 minutes. That is more points than he scored in the T-Wolves three losses this past week when he scored 27 points on 10 of 34 shooting.

4. Stephen Curry, Warriors (LWR: #4)

’09-’10: 11.2 ppg, 4.6 apg, 3.3 rpg, 1.9 spg

My ’09-’10 Prediction: 12 ppg, 4 apg, 3 rpg

The former Davidson Wildcat remains a solid rookie despite the trials and tribulations that are the Golden State Warriors. Curry is sixth in the NBA in steals but has yet to find a real rhythm with his outside shot.

5. Omri Casspi, Kings (LWR: #5)

’09-’10: 11.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg

My ’09-’10 Prediction: 6 ppg, 2.5 rpg

Casspi posted career-highs in points (22) and minutes (38) in Sacramento’s win against the Wizards Wednesday night. He isn’t overly “sexy” with his play, but brings great energy off the Kings’ bench and is shooting 46% from deep.

6. James Harden, Thunder (LWR: #6)

’09-’10: 9.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.6 apg

My ’09-’10 Prediction: 10 ppg, 3 rpg, 3 apg

Harden has a down week scoring just 30 points in four games but still contributed in other areas. He still tends to try and do a little too much at times instead of deferring to his teammates.

7. Taj Gibson (LWR: #7)

’09-’10: 8.3 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.1 bpg

My ’09-’10 Prediction: 5.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 0.8 bpg

Despite still coming off the bench, Gibson is getting more minutes and putting up better numbers than the player who replaced him in the starting five, Brad Miller. He posted double digits in rebounds in three of his four games and has been a pleasant contributor for the 26th overall pick.

8. Terrence Williams, Nets (LWR: #9)

’09-’10: 9.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.8 apg, .7 spg

My ’09-’10 Prediction: 7 ppg, 4 rpg, 2.5 apg, 2 spg

Since being benched for two games a week ago, T-Will has responded well. With the Nets getting beaten up on quite frequently, Williams is getting more garbage time minutes and thus putting up better numbers (18 points in a 23-point loss at Atlanta, 17-points in a 16-point home loss to the Jazz.)

9. Tyler Hansbrough, Pacers (LWR: HM)

’09-’10: 8.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg

My ’09-’10 Prediction: 6 ppg, 3 rpg

Hansbrough had his best two games as a pro this week as he has seen earned more minutes on the floor. A 21-point, 7-rebound effort against the Nets in just 25 minutes was followed up with 19 points in his next game.

10. Jonas Jerebko, Pistons (LWR: HM)

’09-’10: 8.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg

My ’09-’10 Prediction: 3.5 ppg, 1.5 rpg

With Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton, and Ben Gordon all still injured, Jerebko continues to make the most of his starting opportunity in Detroit.

Honorable Mentions: Wesley Matthews, Jazz (LWR: HM), Marcus Thornton (LWR: #HM), Ty Lawson, Nuggets (LWR: #10, Chase Budinger, Rockets (LWR: HM)

Dropped out of Top Ten: Ty Lawson, Nuggets (LWR: #10), Darren Collison, Hornets (LWR: #8)


Blake Griffin, Clippers (LWR: Inc)

’09-’10 Prediction: 15 ppg, 7.5 rpg

The Clippers curse has officially struck. Griffin will be sidelined for the about the first six weeks of the season due to a broken left knee cap. His impact would have been felt immediately in the NBA because he is that gifted both physically and skill-wise. It will likely take him a while to hit full stride once he does return which means his averages might not be what they would have been if he was healthy all season long.

The Project:

Hasheem Thabeet, Grizzlies (LWR: Project)

’09-’10: 2.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.2 bpg

My ’09-’10 Prediction: 5 ppg, 4 rpg, 1.5 bpg

You can tell that the NBA game is starting to slow down for Thabeet. He is starting to look a little bit like the defensive nuisance he was at UConn as Thabeet had back-to-back night of four and five swats. When he is on the floor, he is also better establishing himself on the boards.

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank.
Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
All other e-mail, including advertising and link proposals, send to: [email protected]

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