NBA Preseason 2012: Assessing Performances of Top Rookies so Far

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NBA Preseason 2012: Assessing Performances of Top Rookies so Far
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At the 2012 NBA Draft, a number of teams believed they'd improved the long-term fortunes of their franchise by selecting prospects who were projected to be impact players down the road.

Well, for players who heard their names called early on draft night, the future is now, as the 2012-13 NBA preseason is underway and fans across the league have gotten their first look at this year's top rookies.

Though preseason stats have a tendency to be misleading, here's a look at how some of the headliners of this year's rookie class have performed thus far.

Anthony Davis

As the clear-cut crown jewel of the 2012-13 rookie class, Anthony Davis was faced with the daunting task of being the franchise player for the New Orleans Hornets.

So far, the former Kentucky Wildcat has been extremely impressive, as the No. 1 overall pick has averaged over 15 points and eight boards a game while playing less than 30 minutes a night.

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After suiting up for Team USA at the 2012 Olympic Games, Davis is destined for stardom, and unless he goes down with an injury, he has to be the overwhelming favorite to win Rookie of the Year honors.

Bradley Beal

With the No. 3 selection in the 2012 draft, the Wizards took Florida Gators sharpshooter Bradley Beal, and through his first five preseason games, he's looked like a good bet to be a major scorer in the NBA.

During his first preseason game, Beal went 2-for-4 on three-pointers and scored 18 points for Washington. He has looked very comfortable with the ball in his hands.

Averaging more than 14 points per game this preseason, Beal will be an impact player for the Wizards right away, but it could be another long year for Washington.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

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After winning the 2012 NCAA championship, teammates Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist went 1-2 in the draft, and Kidd-Gilchrist was expected to become an immediate difference maker for the Bobcats.

Though MKG was impressive in his debut—as he put up 12 points and six boards against Washington—he has struggled since, shooting a combined 0-for-6 from the field against the Thunder and Hornets.

Averaging just 6.5 points per game thus far, Kidd-Gilchrist will almost assuredly put up bigger numbers during the regular season, but he has to shoot more consistently if he's going to be an offensive force for the Bobcats as a rookie.

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