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Racing Rookies

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 11/3/2010 1:03:22 PM

Hope springs eternal for all the NBA executives at draft time when they are hoping to find the next budding superstar and this year there are a few players on the wish list that have a chance to really be special and help their teams cover the point spread in the process.

The new faces start with the Los Angeles Clippers Blake Griffin. Drafted last year, he suffered a knee injury and still is regarded as a rookie this year. He was a flat out double/double machine in college and is averaging nearly 17 points and 10 bound so far. The quick leaper will team great with Clips center Chris Kaman, who was married in June but practiced for hours every day since mid-July.

The next pair of guards could be in the league for decades. John Wall was the first drafted and he went to the Washington Wizards, a team in flux that has some pieces but will struggled to win a lot of games. Wall is quick as a cat but like a lot of young players has to work on his shooting and the point is the hardest position to master.

Wall has already posted an 18-point, 9-assist gem and on November 2nd he was one steal short of a triple/double scoring 29 and dishing 13 dimes.

Second pick Evan Turner went to a potentially better team in Philadelphia. He’ll have the pleasure of working along side promising and talented young point guard Jrue Holiday and can learn from some of the veterans like Elton Brand and Andre Iguodala. In limited minutes, he’s off to an 8-point, 5-rebound resume.

DeMarcus Cousins drifted in the draft because of some personal issues but give the kid a break, he’s only 19 and what 19-year-old in America is perfect? He had a very productive preseason for the Sacramento Kings, will get his minutes early with Samuel Dalabert injured. Fourteen and 6 bounds so far on the average for Cousins and he’ll only get better.

Don’t be shocked if Gordon Haywood turns into a quiet assassin for the Utah Jazz. He looks like a baby but plays like a baby gorilla around the hoop and he can flat out score. Coach Sloan has been more apt to give rooks minutes in his golden years and this kid should thrive with time on the court.

One of the reasons the San Antonio Spurs keeping coming at you year in and year out is the great work done by General Manager R. C. Buford. Last year he selected DeJuan Blair in the second round and he proved to be a steal and James Anderson will try to follow in his footsteps.

Anderson scored 22 a game for Oklahoma State last year, which was good enough to earn him Big 12 Player of the Year, honors and he should get his time as the Spurs are getting older. At 6-6, he has the size to defend the bigger guards in the league and gets to learn from one of the best teachers in the game in Gregg Popovich. He’ll thrive during the 2nd half of the season.

Watch these kids early and if the play well, their confidence will swell.


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