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Dave McMenamin

Rookie Rankings

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Rookie Rankings: Warriors' Randolph a Hall of Famer?


Posted Feb 26 2009 8:17AM

Lakers forward Lamar Odom is known for saying some nutty things. I recently asked him to describe his role on the team and his response was, "rock star."

So what do we make of it when Odom says, after seeing Warriors rookie Anthony Randolph hang 14 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks on L.A., that the 19-year-old could make it to the Hall of Fame some day?

Randolph, the No. 14 pick in the 2008 Draft, has never scored 20 points in an NBA game, never dished out more than three assists, never even played 30 minutes. Was Odom's statement prescient or preposterous?

The hybrid forward is averaging 6.1 points and 4.3 rebounds in just 13.4 minutes per game this season. Before he's worried about opening the doors to Springfield, he just wants to be able to find an opening in coach Don Nelson's rotation.

"I just need to keep working hard and if I do get in the game, just do the things to keep me on the floor and don't make silly mistakes and turnovers," Randolph said.

Line of the Week
Russell Westbrook (OKC)
Feb. 21 at GSW
31 pts, 5 reb, 11 ast, 1 stl
13-24 FG, 5-6 FT

Randolph says he looks to Odom, Kevin Garnett, Amar'e Stoudemire and Tayshaun Prince to model his game after, giving him a venerable potpourri of offensive and defensive -- as well as big man and swingman -- skills to try and steal for his own.

"The game is starting to slow down a little bit more to me, I'm starting to feel a little bit more comfortable out there," Randolph said after scoring eight points against the Clippers in just 14 minutes on Monday. Questioned for his aggressive demeanor that bubbled over into asinine plays in the past, the 6-10, 210-pounder (who I wrote was as skinny as Pete Wentz's jeans back during summer league) was certainly in the mix Monday as he readily leaped into rebounding scrum after rebounding scrum, but he wasn't out of control.

"I'm not rushing things as much as I was. I'm starting to make more positive plays instead of negative plays."

He appears to have turned the corner in Nelson's book, as he's played 10 minutes or more in all six games he's played in February -- the longest stretch of his career with that many double-digit minute totals.

Then again, his coach is the same Nellie who started DeMarcus Nelson at point guard at the beginning of the season (now Nelson is in the D-League) and who rode undrafted rookie Anthony Morrow to 62 points in consecutive games in November (now Morrow is coming off a stretch of three straight DNP-CDs).

"We all understand that's just a part of it," Randolph said. "This is a league where you have to pay your dues."

He'll pay his dues and we'll pay attention to see if Mr. Odom is full of malarkey or not.

Korleone Young Drop of the Week: M. Chalmers MIA (-3)
Eddie Gottlieb Rise of the Week: Five players (+1)

Overall Rankings - Week 17

1. Derrick Rose, G, Chicago
G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
57 36.4 16.7 3.6
6.4
0.8 0.2 .471 .259 .796
Last Week: 1 | Drafted: 1
Rose led the Bulls to three wins against teams that are currently slated to make the playoffs. The dynamic guard racked up 18 points, nine assists and five rebounds against the Bucks; 10, six and six against the Nuggets and 22, five and three against the streaking Magic. He did slip up in a loss to the Pacers last week, only scoring three points on 1-for-9 shooting, but he did more than enough in the three wins to keep his top spot.

2. Russell Westbrook, G, Oklahoma City
G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
57 31.9 15.3 4.7 5.0 1.3 0.2 .410 .293 .815
Last Week: 3 | Drafted: 4
Not sure what impressed me more from Westbrook last week, that crazy alley-oop he caught off the glass against Golden State or this stat: Since 1990, only five players (Anfernee Hardaway, Grant Hill, Steve Francis, LeBron James, Chris Paul) have averaged 15 points, five rebounds and five assists in their first season and four of them (all but Hardaway) went on to win Rookie of the Year with those statistics. Westbrook is only 0.3 rebounds per game away from joining their exclusive company.

3. O.J. Mayo, G, Memphis
G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
56
37.9
19.2
4.2 2.9 1.1 0.2 .438 .380 .880
Last Week: 2 | Drafted: 3
Mayo scored 43 points over two games against the Blazers and Kings to start the week, but he shot just 14-for-35 combined and the Grizzlies dropped both contests. Then he faced the Cavs and it got even worse for the 6-4, 210-pounder as he scored just seven points on 3-for-11 shooting. There has to be something about playing LeBron James that gets Mayo too geeked up. He shot 3-for-9 against Cleveland in January.

4. Eric Gordon, G, L.A. Clippers
G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
57 33.2 15.3 2.5 2.7 1.0 0.5 .447 .392 .866
Last Week: 5 | Drafted: 7
"This kid is the best new talent in the league right now, and I don't care who else you mention," Suns coach Alvin Gentry told the Los Angeles Times last week. Gordon backed up Gentry's claim, topping the 20-point plateau in all three games he played and going 8-for-8 to close out a win against the Warriors after starting the game 1-for-8.

5. Brook Lopez, C, New Jersey
G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
57 29.9 12.5 8.1 0.8 0.5
1.9
.514 .000 .819
Last Week: 4 | Drafted: 10
Lopez had just seven points and five rebounds against the Sixers after starting the week with 16 and seven against the Mavericks and 16 and eight against the Wizards.

6. Michael Beasley, F, Miami
G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
55 24.2 13.1 5.2 0.8 0.5 0.5 .451 .393 .769
Last Week: 6 | Drafted: 2
Erik Spoelstra is going with a frontline of Jermaine O'Neal at the five, Udonis Haslem at the four and James Jones at the three so it appears that Beasley will continue to come off the bench. The big lefty hasn't taken too kindly to the reserve role yet, shooting just 18-for-45 from the field in four games last week.

7. Kevin Love, F, Minnesota
G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
56 23.9 9.7 8.8 1.1 0.4 0.6 .456 .143 .784
Last Week: 8 | Drafted: 5
Love continues his steady climb up the charts, topping double-digit boards twice last week and scoring 10 or more thrice, but the story of the week revolving around Love was that as an eight-year-old, he starred with then Trail Blazers rookie Jermaine O'Neal in a health club commercial. "He was 8 years old and now we're playing together," O'Neal told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "That makes me feel a little bit old. Just a little bit."

8. Marc Gasol, C, Memphis
G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
56 29.9 10.8 7.2 1.6 0.8 1.0 .517 .000 .701
Last Week: 9 | Drafted: 48 by L.A. Lakers in 2007
Gasol had an underwhelming week, nearing three double-doubles with nine points and 10 rebounds against Portland, six and eight against Sacramento and nine and nine against Cleveland, but shooting just 10-for-25 (40 percent), well below his 51.7 percent average.

9. Jason Thompson, F, Sacramento
G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
58 26.2 10.4 6.7 1.0 0.5 0.6 .501 .000 .701
Last Week: 10 | Drafted: 12
Thompson had a monster 17-point, nine-rebound, three-assist, two-block night in 39 minutes against Memphis last week, but only saw 31 minutes of playing time in his next two games against Dallas and New Orleans because of foul trouble.

10. Mario Chalmers, G, Miami
G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
56 31.0 9.8 2.5 4.6
1.9
0.1 .424 .368 .742
Last Week: 7 | Drafted: 34
Chalmers couldn't stay out of foul trouble last week, fouling out against Minnesota and picking up five whistles against both the Sixers and the Pistons. Chalmers played just 18 minutes against Detroit, giving way for Dwyane Wade to pick up the slack at point guard (which Wade did quite ably with 16 helpers).
RED = Rookie Leader (Must Qualify)

The Next 10 (alphabetical order): Ryan Anderson (NJN), D.J. Augustin (CHA), Rudy Fernandez (POR), Roy Hibbert (IND), George Hill (SAS), Courtney Lee (ORL), Luc Mbah a Moute (MIL), JaVale McGee (WAS), Greg Oden (POR), Marreese Speights (PHI)

Noteworthy

Batum

Nicolas Batum (POR) didn't draw the attention his rookie teammates did over All-Star. Rudy Fernandez was in the dunk contest, Greg Oden had another injury pop up and Jerryd Bayless' name was volleyed about in dozens on trade rumors. Staying under the radar served Batum well, as he's come out of the break with an aggressive approach, scoring double digits in three out of Portland's four games.
J.R. Giddens (BOS) finally got his chance to play, logging a minute against the Suns and then scoring four points in his next game against the Nuggets. The HNPAMY Club is now down to just one, Oklahoma City's D.J. White, who has been sidelined with a jaw injury.
Bobby Brown (MIN) was the only rookie to be traded right before the deadline, as he went from Sacramento with Shelden Williams to Minnesota for Calvin Booth and Rashad McCants.
Kyle Weaver (OKC) scored 35 points on 11-for-17 shooting in two games against the Warriors and Clippers last week.

The HNPAMY (Have Not Played A Minute Yet) Club: D.J. White (OKC)
* = assigned to D-League
D-League Watch: Othello Hunter was recalled by Atlanta from the Anaheim Arsenal by Atlanta


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