NBA.com Rookie Ladder
The Rookie Ladder is a free-flowing, constantly updated chart that ranks the 2013-14 rookies. If a rookie plays well, he climbs the Ladder. Play poorly, and he'll slide down a rung ... or two or three. The rankings are updated by NBA.com's Drew Packham. If you have an issue or have a question or comment, send Drew an e-mail. You can also follow him on Twitter.
• Past Seasons: 2012-13 | 2011-12 | 2010-11
KIA NBA ROOKIES OF THE MONTH
The Magic's Victor Oladipo and the Grizzlies' Nick Calathes were named the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month, respectively, for games played in February.
Rookies of the Month
- Oladipo, Calathes - February
- MCW, Burke - January
- Oladipo, Burke - December
- MCW, McLemore - November
ROOKIE VIDEOS: BEST OF THE BEST
NBA Rooks: Zeller
NBA Rooks: McCollum
NBA Rooks: Giannis
NBA Rooks: Burke
NBA Rooks: McLemore
NBA Rooks: Bennett
NBA Rooks: Porter
NBA Rooks: McLemore
NBA Rooks: Noel
The Time Is Now
March 5 -- For various reasons, several rookies are starting to see more playing time in the season's second half.
In Cleveland, No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett has started to see more action, and has shown some signs of the talent that made Cleveland brass take him with the top pick. After averaging around 10 minutes through January, Bennett saw 17.4 minutes per game in Febuary and put up 7.2 points and 4.8 rebounds while shooting 44.2 percent. Not exactly eye-popping numbers, but you have to think the added playing time has only helped him get a better feel for the game.
In Minnesota, Shabazz Muhammad rarely saw the court through the first three months. But, got a bump in February, averaging 11.2 minutes, whil putting up some decent numbers (6.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg on 45.7 percent shooting). Per 36 minutes, that translates to 20.5 points and 8.9 rebounds. He had a memorable night last week, scoring 20 points and grabbing six rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench, drawing praise from teammates.
"We see it all the time from him," Kevin Love said afterward. "But he took advantage of an opportunity tonight, and he's a rookie so he's still learning the game. He's going to get better. He's a strong kid, and he hit some big shots for us tonight and brought us back into it."
For Brooklyn, Mason Plumlee has been a reliable contributor bringing energy off the bench all season. But his February was especially productive. After seeing his playing time dip to 8.6 minutes in January, Plumlee has been back in the rotation, thanks in part to Kevin Garnett dealing with back spasms.
Plumlee has started the last two games, and finished February with averages of 8.3 points and 5.1 rebounds in 16.9 minutes per games. Per 36 minutes, that's a solid 17.6 points and 10.8 rebounds on 59.6 percent shooting.
And those are just three of many players seeing increased opportunities. Nate Wolters averaged 28.5 minutes in February (averaging 8.7 points) for Milwaukee; Nick Calathes saw 28.6 minutes while filling in for Mike Conley in Memphis (averaging 10.7 points); And Tim Hardaway Jr. averaged 32.5 minutes (scoring 12.1 ppg), an increase of more than 10 minutes over his season average.
With teams trying new things, shuffling lineups, and dealing with injuries, rookies better be ready -- their time is coming.
-- Drew Packham
Dropped out: Tony Snell, Nick Calathes
Just missed the cut: Calathes, C.J. McCollum, Ben McLemore, Anthony Bennett, Shabazz Muhammad, Snell