Here are my Rookie Rankings three weeks into the NBA Season:
1. Derrick Rose: Rose's strength and agility have given defenders a lot of trouble early on. His ability to penetrate and score inside the paint makes him deadly in the open floor. Last night's 26 point, 10 rebound, and seven assist performance against the upstart Hawks shows what he is capable of.
No other rookie has come close to putting up those all-around numbers. The offense is clearly built around this budding superstar.
2. O.J. Mayo: Mayo is going off in the points category. 33 and 31 back to back, that's nuts. Of course, he has a high shot total. He is averaging almost 18 attempts a game. However, he's shooting 44% from behind the arc.
3. Michael Beasley: Beasley hasn't done much as far as big numbers go, but he has been consistent. 18 points and seven rebounds are usually what he puts up because of Wade's presence and ability to score. He will put up huge numbers soon, which could be a scary thing for other teams. With Wade and Beasley, the Heat have a deadly duo.
4. Marc Gasol: No Pau, it's Marc. He's having a great start to his rookie season. A beast on the boards who can finish down low, something Pau isn't as good at. Marc is averaging close to a double-double, at 11 points and eight rebounds per game. He needs to develop a short jumper like his bro, but Memphis has a nice little nucleus budding.
5. Mario Chalmers: I only put him here because of his defense and his ball control. Chalmers is perfect in the Heat's system. He loves getting others involved but can score also. He is only averaging 6 ppg, but doesn't turn the ball over much. His "D" is unreal. Nine steals in one game is great for any player.
6. Russell Westbrook: Coming off the bench, Westbrook gives the Thunder a good option at the one. He plays solid defense and is a good ball-handler. He is a nice compliment to Kevin Durant and Jeff Green.
7. Jason Thompson: I love this guy. Not many know him, but he's been solid in Sacramento for Reggie Theus. He can play the three, four, and five. He has a nice outside jumper, shooting 59% from the field. He's a good ROY sleeper candidate.
8. Kevin Love: Minnesota is not good, but they have a good young nucleus, like the Bulls and Grizz. Love can shoot, pass, rebound, and play D. At 10 points and seven rebounds per game, Love is a nice compliment to Al Jefferson.
9. Rudy Fernandez: This guy is very solid. I would have him higher in the rankings if it wasn't for the depth the Blazers have. He is averaging 14 ppg, while shooting 46% from the field and from three. His minutes are up to 28 a game, and soon enough those minutes will steadily rise above 30.
10. D.J. Augustin: He is already getting more minutes as of late at the one position because Larry Brown loves PG's. By the second half of the year, the Bobcats will probably be out of contention. Augustin will likely see even more minutes and maybe even start over Felton. Felton likely will not be back with the team after this year. Augustin is the guy in Charlotte.
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