Watch highlights of the Walter Hermann's emergence during the final months of the season.
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SECAUCUS, NJ, April 19, 2007 -- First let me thank Rob Peterson for filling in last week. But don't worry, Jorge. I got your back.
Second, let me send out some love to my fellow Hokies around the globe. There's not a stronger community (students, faculty and staff, alumni) than the one in Blacksburg and I've never been more proud to be a Virginia Tech alum. So, excuse me if I change the RR color scheme a bit this week.
So, you already know who's going to win the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy. You've known it for a few weeks now. But the Rookie Report is much more than telling you who the best first-year player is.
It's about giving you a thorough rundown of everything going on with the rookie class. Remember that the rankings are in no way official. They're just one man's opinion. The Rookie of the Year award is voted on by the media and the All-Rookie teams are determined by the league's head coaches.
With that in mind, I give you the final T-Mobile Rookie Rankings of the 2006-07 NBA season.
THIS WEEK'S RANKINGS (April 9-18)
1. Shelden Williams (ATL)
15.6 PPG, 11.2 RPG, 1.80 SPG, 1.60 BPG, .653 FG% in 5 games 2. Rajon Rondo (BOS)
14.2 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 6.2 APG, 2.33 SPG, .554 FG% in 6 games 3. Tarence Kinsey (MEM)
19.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 3.5 APG, 2.00 SPG, .536 FG% in 4 games 4. Walter Herrmann (CHA)
21.5 PPG, 6.3 RPG, .574 FG%, 15-26 3PT in 4 games 5. Mardy Collins (NYK)
14.8 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 5.8 APG, 1.67 SPG, .423 FG% in 6 games
Last Week: 1
Roy missed the last three games of the season with sore knees, leaving him with just 57 games total, which would be the least amount of games played by the Rookie of the Year winner since Patrick Ewing played just 50 in 1985-86 (not including Vince Carter in the '98-99 shortened season).
Last Week: 2
Gay finished the season with a bad right ankle and played just 11 minutes in the last five games. His numbers after the All-Star break (not including Monday's 11 min. vs. the Spurs): 14.2 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 1.09 BPG, .417 FG%, .352 3PT.
Last Week: 3
Bargnani returned to action Wednesday, just in time for the playoffs. He scored 17 points on 5-of-12 from the field (just 1-of-5 from downtown) and grabbed five boards in 27 minutes. The Raps will need him to hit those threes in the first round against the Nets.
Last Week: 5
Millsap finished his solid rookie season with his seventh double-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 boards against the Rockets. But Shelden Williams passed Millsap for the rookie lead by recording five double-doubles in his last seven games, totaling eight for the season.
Last Week: 6
The Wolves struggled down the stretch (losing their last seven), but Foye got a chance to finish his rookie campaign strong. He grabbed a career-high nine boards on Monday in Denver and followed that up with his best line of the season: 26 points on 10-of-15, eight boards, six assists and three steals against Memphis on Wednesday. Millsap, Smith and Foye are the only rookies to play in all 82 games this season.
Last Week: Unranked
Rondo's numbers over the last nine games were even better than those tantalizing numbers he put up in the preseason. He put up 14.0 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 5.7 APG and 2.44 SPG down the stretch ... and he even shot .568 from the field.
Last Week: 9
Morrison played just three minutes in the season finale and missed the previous four games with a sprained knee. It will be a very interesting summer in Charlotte and the work that Morrison puts in could be a big key to the Bobcats taking the next step.
Thomas came on strong in March and April for the Bulls, but it was interesting to see that he only played one minute of the second half of Wednesday's big game in New Jersey. Is that a sign of things to come in the playoffs?
Balkman missed the last six games of the season with a stomach virus, but after the criticism Isiah Thomas received after the No. 20 pick, the rookie has won Knicks fans over with his unlimited energy.
After averaging 17.9 points and 5.3 boards while shooting .582 from the field (including an incredible .488 from downtown over the last 18 games, Herrmann is one of the most intriguing free agents available this summer.
Maurice Ager (DAL) scored a career-high 20 points in a loss at Golden State on Tuesday. Jose Juan Barea (DAL) got some burn down the stretch and recorded a double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds) in that loss to the Warriors. Josh Boone (NJN) came up big in the final game of the season, maybe the best win of the year for the Nets. He scored 15 points on 5-of-5 from the field against the Bulls.
There's something about losses at Golden State. Ronnie Brewer (UTA) scored a career-high 21 points on 7-of-9 from the field on April 9 against the Warriors. Mardy Collins (NYK) finished the season by averaging 14.7 points, 6.3 board, 5.8 assists and 1.90 steals over the last 10 games. David Noel (MIL) scored a career-high 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting (including 3-of-3 from downtown) in an April 11 loss to the Pacers. Leon Powe (BOS) scored a career-high 19 points in an April 10 loss in Atlanta and then had 18 two games later against the Bucks. Allen Ray (BOS) scored in double-figures three of the last five games, including 18 in the season finale against the Pistons. Uros Slokar (TOR) scored a career-high 18 points in a loss at Detroit on Tuesday. James White (SAS) scored a career-high 17 points in a loss at Memphis on Monday. Justin Williams (SAC) averaged 10.2 points and 7.8 boards over the last nine games, recording two double-doubles over that span.
ORANGE = Rookie Leader (Must Qualify)
As always, if you've got a comment or question, let us know.