• Matthew Handel

Handel's Rookie Race: Volume 2


We all know about the MVP race, but what about the young guys just trying to make it in this league? They deserve a race too and they have one; the Rookie Race. These are the top 5 NBA rookies so far this year.

1. Joel Embiid (17.0 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.3 bpg, 21.42 PER) Last week: 1

Joel Embiid is beasting and feasting and the best part about it is that he is still on a minute’s restriction. His most recent game is a ten point ten rebound game against the T’Wolves. He went down twice and it looked like he was injured, but he bounced back and finished the game. The T’Wolves ended up destroying the 76ers, but Embiid still had a solid game. He is still the frontrunner to win this award, and it is going to take a lot of great games for the other candidates to take it from him.

2. Jaylen Brown (6.8 ppg, 0.9 apg, 2.6 rpg, 13.69 PER) Last week: 2

Brown was ranked at number 2 last week and nothing has changed. He is still playing at a solid level and the best part about his game is that he is still playing within himself. The toughest part for a rookie in this league is not trying to do too much. Brown has this down to a science. His most recent game was a 4 point, 1 steal, and 3 rebound game against the Mavs, but his PER continues to go up, which means that even though his stats aren’t jumping off the page, he is continuing to play efficient basketball.

3. Dario Saric (10.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 9.79 PER) Last week: N/A

Saric has taken full advantage of playing for the weakest team in the NBA. His last game against the T’Wolves was impressive. He dropped 16 points and had 4 rebounds. Saric is no rookie when it comes to scoring in double digits, he has scored more than 10 points 7 times. He will continue to get a ton of minutes and with his shooting at the four spot, expect to see a boost in this man’s game.

4. Malcolm Brogdon (7.1 ppg, 2.8 apg, 2.5 rpg, 11.23 PER) Last week: 3

The only reason that Brogdon dropped from 3 to 4 is because he dropped a goose egg in his last game, scoring zero points, but he did grab 4 rebounds. The reason I like to keep Brogdon on this list is because of the things that don’t show up in the stat sheet. He plays great defense, is tough, and can grab the rebounds the Bucks’ need. As long as he continues to do that, he will find a place on the top 5 rookies in the NBA.

5.Kris Dunn (4.4 ppg, 3.5 apg, 3.1 rpg, 10.67 PER) Last week: 4

Ricky Rubio came back, so naturally Dunn saw a drop in minutes. He is still playing well, and very efficient. Following the theme of the other rookies on the list, his last game was not very impressive (2 points, 2 assists, 3 rebounds). He is young and still trying to figure his game out in the NBA. Once Tibs lets this rookie loose, he will take advantage and you can expect to see a huge jump in his stats.

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