SI.com Home
Get SI's Duke Championship Package Free  Subscribe to SI Give the Gift of SI
  • PRINT PRINT
  • EMAIL EMAIL
  • RSS RSS
  • BOOKMARK SHARE
Posted: Tuesday November 18, 2008 4:46PM; Updated: Tuesday November 18, 2008 6:12PM
Bryan Armen Graham Bryan Armen Graham >
NBA ROOKIE RANKINGS

Rose still the one; Oden cracks list

Story Highlights

Bulls point guard Derrick Rose begins his first extended NBA road trip this week

Greg Oden has joined Rudy Fernandez to give the Blazers two rookies on the list

Anthony Morrow makes his debut after a historic 37-point outburst for the Warriors

Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font

Just three weeks into his NBA career, Bulls point guard Derrick Rose is already putting his name in the franchise record books.

With his 23-point effort in last Saturday's victory over Indiana, Rose became the first Chicago rookie to score in double figures in each of his first 10 games since Michael Jordan in 1984. Rare Air, indeed.

Rose also has maintained his perch atop our Rookie Rankings. But staying there will be challenging as the Bulls this week begin a seven-game road trip.

(Statistics and records are through Monday's games.)

NBA Rookie Rankings
1Derrick Rose
Last Week: 1
Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
Rose had 26 points and 10 rebounds against the Hawks (his first career double-double) to open last week. But his most complete effort came Saturday against the Pacers: 23 points (on 8-for-15 shooting), eight assists, three steals and his first career blocked shot. He's played 82 minutes in his past two games and committed just one turnover. Only three rookies have made the All-Star team since 1990 -- Shaquille O'Neal in '93, Grant Hill in '95 and Yao Ming in '03 -- but Bulls reporters are already speculating that Rose could be the fourth.
 
2O.J. Mayo
Last Week: 2
O.J. Mayo, Memphis Grizzlies
After back-to-back games of 31 and 33 points to punctuate his second week in the league, the 20-year-old shooting guard was bound to backslide. The most notable regression came in his shooting: After making 50 percent from the field and 51.9 percent from three-point range in Week 2, Mayo's clips dropped to 44.1 and 25 percent, respectively, last week. But his numbers still compare favorably against any of his rookie counterparts: He is averaging 21.0 points -- tops among first-year players -- along with 4.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.3 steals.
 
3Michael Beasley
Last Week: 4
Michael Beasley, Miami Heat
Beasley got his hands dirty last week, demonstrating an improved comfort level on the interior. Take the second quarter of last Friday's rout of the Wizards, when Beasley elevated in traffic, corralled a Chris Quinn miss and threw down a vicious dunk in one swift motion (as seen at the 1:53 mark of this clip). "He's putting his body now into the fray, which I'm very pleased about," Miami coach Erik Spoelstra told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
 
4Rudy Fernandez
Last Week: 3
Rudy Fernandez, Portland Trail Blazers
The 23-year-old swingman turned in a game-altering performance last Wednesday in Miami, coming off the bench to score a personal-best 25 points in 29 minutes. Fernandez shone brightest in the fourth quarter, scoring 14 points on 5-for-5 shooting -- including a 21-foot dagger with 44.9 seconds left to help the Blazers lock down their fourth consecutive victory. He proved less effective in back-to-back games at New Orleans (10 points) and Minnesota (season-low three points).
 
5Marc Gasol
Last Week: 5
Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies
Since his 27-point, 16-rebound explosion against the Warriors on Nov. 3, Gasol has attracted double teams from opponents with increasing frequency. After initially struggling to adjust to the tactic, Gasol enjoyed a confidence-building rebound over the past week. The 7-footer averaged 11.3 points on 56.7 percent shooting in three games, adding 5.3 rebounds and converting 93.8 percent from the free throw line. His passing remains noteworthy and he's continued to refine an already impressive repertoire of post moves.
 
6Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
Last Week: 9
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Milwaukee Bucks
The hard-working forward made his debut in the starting lineup last Wednesday in a win over the Spurs, finishing with 11 points and seven rebounds in place of Charlie Villanueva. He grabbed national headlines two nights later at Memphis, where he had 19 points and 17 rebounds in 44 minutes in Milwaukee's overtime victory. "When we picked him [in the second round of the draft] we knew he was an NBA-ready defender, but he needed improvement on his offensive game," coach Scott Skiles told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "Then we saw him work and the energy and the effort he put into it. His offensive game is going to come around. He's making shots and doing a lot of good things."
 
7Anthony Morrow
Last Week: NR
Anthony Morrow, Golden State Warriors
The former Georgia Tech star made NBA history Saturday in his first career start, torching the Clippers for 37 points on 15-of-20 shooting -- the most points by an undrafted rookie in NBA history. Of the five misses, two came on tip-in attempts and one was blocked. "You always feel it, it's just all about staying poised," Morrow told the San Francisco Chronicle. "You can't start getting too anxious, like, OK, I've got to make the next shot since I made the last one. It's just like, Keep playing. It's a game of errors, really. You're going to make some mistakes. It's all about staying poised and going out there and doing what you do."
 
8Jason Thompson
Last Week: 7
Jason Thompson, Sacramento Kings
In response to Kevin Martin's absence, Sacramento coach Reggie Theus moved John Salmons from small forward to shooting guard and inserted Thompson as the starting small forward. A 6-foot-11, 250-pound small forward? Well, Thompson has been productive at either forward position. He averaged 12.3 points (on 51.4 percent shooting) and 7.3 rebounds in his first four starts, though the Kings went only 1-3 in those games with leading scorer Martin sidelined by an ankle injury.
 
9Greg Oden
Last Week: NR
Greg Oden, Portland Trail Blazers
Oden returned last week from a sprained foot, an injury that cost him six games. Coming off the bench and playing 24 minutes each time, the 7-footer was solid in back-to-back weekend outings: 11 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks at New Orleans, followed by 13 points, eight rebounds and three blocks at Minnesota. He made 7-of-11 from the field in those two games. The No. 1 pick in the 2007 draft should make a steady ascent in these rankings as the season progresses.
 
10Kevin Love
Last Week: 6
Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves
Love's woes coincide with his team's struggles. He averaged just 4.5 points and 6.3 rebounds in three games last week as the Timberwolves were handed their sixth, seventh and eighth consecutive losses. Love was pulled from the starting lineup Sunday at Denver in favor of Jason Collins. He scored just four points off the bench and had as many missed layups as made baskets. Asked whether he expected to return to the starting lineup soon, Love told the St. Paul Pioneer Press: "I wish. I hope. I hope I can work my way back in, but it's not my decision. I'm not bitter. It's just up to [Minnesota coach Randy] Wittman."
 
Honorable Mention
JaVale McGee, Wizards (13.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in two games); Brook Lopez, Nets (10.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.3 bpg in three games); Ryan Anderson, Nets (12.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 7-of-8 from three-point range in three games); Russell Westbrook, Thunder (14.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.8 spg in four games).
 
 
Dropped Out
D.J. Augustin, Bobcats (6.3 ppg, 3.3 apg, 31.6 percent shooting in three games).
 

 
  • PRINT PRINT
  • EMAIL EMAIL
  • RSS RSS
  • BOOKMARK SHARE
ADVERTISEMENT
SI.com
Hot Topics: NBA Draft Yasiel Puig NHL Playoffs NBA Playoffs Mark Cuban Jabari Parker
TM & © 2013 Time Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved. Terms under which this service is provided to you. Read our privacy guidelines and ad choices.
SI CoverRead All ArticlesBuy Cover Reprint