Saturday, December 26, 2009
1st Quarter R.O.Y. Standings
1) Tyreke Evans- PG (Sacramento)
Evans has looked like a future superstar through the season’s first quarter. Through his team’s first 24 games, Evans is averaging over 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists per game. If he can continue that pace, he’ll be only the fourth rookie in NBA history to post such a season. Who were the first three? You might have heard of them- Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James. Evans has missed one game with an injury and shown typical rookie inconsistency at times, but he seems to always be in complete control of the basketball game. It will be interesting to see how his role changes when teammate Kevin Martin returns from his injury, but through the season’s first 25 games or so, Evans is the class of the ’09 draft.
2) Brandon Jennings- PG (Milwaukee)
Milwaukee found an absolute steal in Jennings with the 10th pick in the draft. Jennings has certainly displayed the most explosiveness of all of this year’s rookies, as witnessed by his breakout performance against the Warriors. Jennings netted 55 points, a feat that hadn’t been achieved since 1968. He has, however, struggled with his shot selection and consequently seen his staggering early season numbers dwindle a bit. He is still averaging 20.7 points and six assists per game, but on only 41.7% from the field.
3) Jonny Flynn- PG (Minnesota)
At this point, it appears to be a two-horse race for the Rookie of the Year, but Flynn is the best of the rest. Sure, Flynn is playing for a Minnesota team that to date has just four wins, but it’s not entirely the fault of their rookie point guard. Flynn has averaged 14 points and four assists per game, along with one steal and one made 3-pointer per contest. He is also dealing with a time-share situation with Ramon Sessions, which deters his numbers somewhat.
4) Stephen Curry- PG (Golden State)
Curry is also dealing with a time-share of sorts, in a crowded backcourt consisting of Monta Ellis, Anthony Morrow, and C.J. Watson. However, he has been surprisingly efficient, shooting 44% from the field and 82% from the free throw line on his way to 11.2 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game. Actually, over the past 15 games or so, Curry has been marginally better than Flynn, but his slow start has him in fourth place for the time being.
5) Ty Lawson- PG (Denver)
Anyone notice a trend with the top five? Lawson, the fifth point guard in the top five spots, has struggled a bit to see the floor since J.R. Smith’s return, but has still had a nice start to the season. In fact, after the first five games of the year, Lawson may have been the leading contender for the award. However, as other players’ numbers have improved (Evans, Jennings, and Curry), Lawson’s have tapered off. Still, through 26 games, he has averaged a respectable eight points, two rebounds, and three assists on 49.7% shooting.
6) Taj Gibson- PF (Chicago)
7) James Harden- SG (Oklahoma City)
8) Wes Matthews- SG (Utah)
9) Chase Budinger- SG (Houston)
10) (Tie) Marcus Thornton and Darren Collison- SG, PG (New Orleans)