Blake Griffin, technically a rookie because of his first-year injury, has become a Sportscenter sensation with his high-flying dunks and ridiculous numbers.
Griffin has graced the NBA with an incredible amount of athleticism, producing a highlight virtually every five minutes. For the first time in years, the Clippers are a hot ticket. Although their record is dismal, Blake Griffin has created a league-wide buzz attracting sports-writers and "VIP" fans like never before.
Griffin is the clear-cut Rookie of the Year this season. The following slides explore some of the other top rookies foreshadowing very successful careers.
Landry Fields has been a huge part of the New York Knicks resurgence into the NBA playoff picture. A second round pick out of Standford, Fields has surprised critics and Knicks fans alike.
Fields is the best rookie 3-pt shooter with a .391 percentage from the arch. He averages 10.2 points per game, 1.1 steals per game and 7.2 rebounds per game, good for third best among rookies and second only to Amare Stoudemire on the Knicks. His .520 field goal percentage ranks 17 in the NBA.
He receives a healthy amount of playing time (32 MPG) so he should continue to improve and become more efficient through the end of the season.
Gary Neal has been a key man off the bench for the Spurs this season. The league leading 42-8 Spurs work as a team to produce points and lock down the opposing offense. Guys like Neal are essential to come off the bench and play their role.
Neal's role is that of a perimeter shooter. He opens things up from behind the arch and helps the Spurs create buckets.
Neal is averaging 8.5 points in just 19.5 minutes of play per game. He hits just under 39 percent (second among rookies) of his 3-pointers and is 83 percent (first among rookies) from behind the free-throw line and virtually never turns the ball over.
Not bad for an undrafted guy out of a school called Towson.
It is no surprise that Cousins, the fifth overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft, is on this list. Although he isn't fully matured, Cousins produces numbers on the floor. He has been great for the Kings this season, which had the Rookie of the Year in Tyreke Evans last season.
Cousins is averaging 13.8 points and 7.9 rebounds in 26.6 minutes per game. His points rank third among rookies and he plays significantly less time per game than the top two. Cousins finds himself at the line often and doesn't disappoint, shooting 67-percent from the free throw line.
As soon as he can figure out a way to stay out of foul trouble, Cousins will truly be a force in the NBA.
The number one overall pick in the draft has not disappoint. Wall is currently number two on my Rookie of the Year list and continues to improve each week. He has battled injury throughout the season and proven he can tough it out and work hard to be on the floor every night.
Wall is averaging 14.8 points and 9.1 assists per game this season. He ranks first in assists among rookies, surpassing the second-ranked Eric Bledsoe by five APG, and fifth among the NBA.
Wall adds 1.68 steals per game, 4.2 rebounds per game and shoots 76 percent from the free-throw line.
Blake Griffin is a high-flying dunk machine. He is a freak of nature who continues to woo spectators after 50 plus games this season. He flashes memories of Sean Kemp as he leaves his audience gasping for breath every time he gets a fast break.
Griffin ranks first among rookies in a number of categories including: points (22.9 per game), rebounds (12.8 per game), free throws made (264), minutes (37.7 per game) and double-doubles (42). Griffin has recorded a double-double in 84 percent of the Clippers 50 games. His 42 is second only to Kevin Love who has 46 double-doubles this season.
Griffin has been dominant and is already one of the biggest stars in the NBA. He will easily win Rookie of the Year and will likely be a MVP candidate in the near future.