2006-07 Rookie Watch
By Ryan Reed
Could the real Randy Foye please stand up? Finally, we have seen the productivity out of the rookie from Villanova that all fans have been waiting for. Whether it is the fact that Dwayne Casey has awoken from his coma and realized the kid can play or management has pressured him to go with a bit more of a youth movement, Foye’s increased playing time has given us a glimpse of the future in the land of 10, 000 lakes. Let’s just say we like what we see.
[img_assist|nid=4074|title=Randy Foye - AP Photo: Andy King|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=409|height=271]Combining a knack for late game heroics with fearless drives in the paint, Foye has shown that his game can translate into the NBA.
While inconsistent play and limited playing time plagued Foye throughout the month of November, December and January have been very kind to him. Ever since playing 7 minutes in a loss against the Bucks, Foye has averaged a very respectable 26 mpg in his last 9 games.
Not only is he getting more floor time, he is putting up better numbers (13 ppg, 3apg, 3.6rpg, 44% from the field) in those games. Foye was touted as a scoring combo guard coming out of college, and if he continues at this rate, he will be in contention for the NBA rookie of the year award come June!
The Rankings see a shift at the top, as I can no longer justify keeping the shaggy haired Adam Morrison in the lead. Enjoy!
1. Jorge Garbajosa, F, Toronto Raptors
In a rookie class with more ups and downs than a trip to Six Flags, Garbajosa has been a rock. For that, he gets rewarded! While I’m applauding Garbo’s effort on the floor, it should be expected. At the ripe age of 29, he is by far the most experienced member of the 2007 rookie class. The Spanish Gunslinger has averaged 30 mpg and his playing time has not fluctuated much as the season has gone on.
2. Brandon Roy, G, Portland Trailblazers
I don’t care that he has only played in 15 games. His play in those 15 games has cemented him near the top of the rookie class. Consistency is something that is being applauded in this report, and Roy is a fixture in the Blazers young lineup. He rebounds, dishes, defends, and scores on a team that needs a second fiddle. Battling through injury, Roy has put up solid numbers throughout the season (13 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.2 apg, 31 mpg). Watch those numbers increase as he gets his legs back underneath him.
3. Adam Morrison, F, Charlotte
Morrison is killing me right now. One night, he goes 1-15, the next he drops 30. His consistency is not what bothers me the most though. Morrison runs at a similar efficiency rate as a government agency. Once you cut through the red tape, you quickly realize that Morrison needs nearly 35 mpg to accumulate his 13 ppg. According to nba.com’s efficiency ratings, Morrison ranks 212th in the league, right there behind teammate Matt Carroll. While efficiency is not everything, this is one area that Morrison needs to improve. If he does, he could easily rise again in the rankings.
4. Andrea Bargnani, F, Toronto Raptors
The Italian Stallion has shown vast improvement over the course of his short NBA career. He is currently 3rd in scoring amongst rookies, all while averaging a measly 22 mpg. Not only has Bargnani improved offensively, he filled in nicely for Chris Bosh and helped keep the Raptors above water as they went through the West Coast. Sam Mitchell is trusting Bargnani more on the court and making management look smart for drafting the versatile big man.
5. Randy Foye, G, Minnesota Timberwolves
As outlined in the opening, Foye’s play has improved considerably over the past month. We here at the Rookie Watch feel that the only thing holding Foye back early was a lack of playing time. With the increase in playing time, Foye’s comfort level has increased exponentially and the faith his teammates have in him has followed suit. Foye is a player who thrives on having the ball in his hands and needs to feel comfortable on the floor. If Dwyane Casey continues to trust him, watch for great things from the former Wildcat.
Rudy Gay, F, Memphis Grizzlies
Paul Milsap, F, Utah Jazz
Craig Smith, F, Minnesota Timberwolves
Jordan Farmar, G, Los Angeles Lakers
Marcus Williams, G, New Jersey Nets
The J.J. Redick Watch
Redick has had his most productive stretch of the season, playing in all of the Magic’s last three games. Coincidentally, the Magic has won all three! Redick for MVP? That’s a stretch, but the former Dukie must be feeling better after going for 8 and 9 points in two of those games. If Redick can find a niche on the Magic, it would help alleviate the pressure inside on Dwight Howard. Keep an eye on his minutes. That’s the telling stat for Redick.
The 2006-2007 rookie class appears to be settling into NBA life. It got off to such a slow start that many people felt that it could not be resuscitated. With the return of Roy and Foye (one from injury, the other from banishment), the class has been strengthened. Hopefully this trend continues and we can see improved play from Rudy Gay and Shelden Williams.
Till next time, this is Ryan Reed for NBAdraft.net.
With the return of Roy and Foye (one from injury, the other from banishment), the class has been strengthened.
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