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Good to go (cont.)

Posted: Thursday October 25, 2007 8:44AM; Updated: Thursday October 25, 2007 12:59PM
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6. Mike Conley, Grizzlies

The little point guard from Ohio State has the motor and playmaking capabilities to light up Memphis, but he's still learning the NBA game and is caught up in a three-man race at the position with Kyle Lowry and veteran Damon Stoudamire. New coach Marc Iavaroni might opt for those more experienced hands. Plus, Conley might get overshadowed on his own team by ...

5. Juan Carlos Navarro, Grizzlies

This 6-3 shooting guard from Spain was a second-round pick of the Wizards way back in '02 but is technically a rookie because he's finally playing in NBA after spending the past five seasons in Europe. Nicknamed "La Bomba" for his ability to hit both long bombs and patented floaters, he can come off the bench and score in bunches.

4. Al Thornton, Clippers

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With Elton Brand sidelined by an Achilles heel injury, this 6-8 power forward from Florida State should get an opportunity to play. So far he looks more than up to the task. As of Wednesday he was averaging 18.7 points (on 48.9 percent shooting) and 5.7 rebounds in 29.2 minutes per game. Of course, he might get overshadowed by another Big Al ...

3. Al Horford, Hawks

Like Thornton, Horford appears ready to step in and make an immediate contribution. The former Florida Gator was averaging 11.7 points, 8.9 boards and 2.0 blocks in 30.1 minutes in the preseason, and coach Mike Woodson swears he has no fear about throwing Horford into the mix right away. Look for him to be a solid pro right from opening night.

2. Kevin Durant, Sonics

The consensus preseason pick for Rookie of the Year (especially with Portland's Greg Oden out for the season with a knee injury), Durant is a lock to produce big scoring numbers and highlight reel plays. But at age 19, with a gangly 6-foot-9 frame, he still has a ways to go to dominate in other phases. His overall impact figures to be limited on a rebuilding Sonics club that won't win a lot of games.

1. Luis Scola, Rockets

At age 27, with vast experience in Europe, this 6-9 Argentine power forward is far from a typical rookie. His high hoops IQ and ability to pass and score inside should make him a perfect fit alongside Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady. The Rockets figure to be a top team in the West, and Scola will play a significant role. He probably won't win Rookie of the Year, but he likely will play the biggest role in his team's success than anyone else on this list.

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