SECAUCUS, NJ, March 12, 2008 -- When you're writing 30-50 words about the same group of 10-20 guys for 19 weeks straight, sometimes it's difficult to keep things fresh.

You hope the players did something on the court to warrant some discussion, you know, like set a career high, hit a game winner, fouled out Ö that kind of stuff.

If that fails, the next stop is to write about a specific play you saw the player perform, or comment on an aspect of their game, like analyzing what their tendencies are on offense for example.

Plan C is to come up with something clever, or at least you think is clever, like how Jeff Green shares his name with Jeff Greene, a character on HBOís Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Then thereís always the teammate angle, where you highlight the other guys out on the court to illustrate your point about the rookie.

Straight up stat analysis is another fallback, as some readers canít get enough PERs, PCTs and +/- in their lives.

One more option is to tell a story about a player that you heard on a broadcast, which is fair game as long as you give credit to the broadcaster.

Line of the Week
Al Thornton (LAC)
March 10 at MIA
22 points, 10 reb
9-14 FG, 3 ast, 1 stl, 1 blk Video
Sometimes itís fun to just comment on a playerís haircut, or the way he wears his headband because you know thatís what the fans at home are thinking about when they see him play.

Since itís a ranking, another way to satisfy the player blurb is to compare him to another rook on the list, or offer an explanation of why the player moved up or down the list that week

And, after all of that, if youíre still drawing a blank thereís always the last bullet remaining in your holster: Google and pray.

Too bad Google doesnít help when you canít think of anything to write for the opening to the article.

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  • Korleone Young slide of the week: Mike Conley MEM (-3).
    Eddie Gottlieb rise of the week: Five players (+1).

    Overall Rankings - Week 19

    1. Kevin Durant, G-F, Seattle
    G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
    62
    33.6
    19.5
    4.1 2.3 1.0 1.0 .407 .283 .873
    Last Week: 2 | Drafted: 2
    One time Will Ferrell, who was a guest on Conan O'Brien's show, came out dressed as Robert Goulet and didn't break character once during the whole interview. One of the classic lines he bursts out during the clip is, "It feels good to be back on top!" Durant gets to do his best Goulet impression thanks to a solid week where he cut back on his threes, boosted his shooting percentage by going 29-for-58 (.500) over four games and hit the 20-point mark in three of them.

    2. Al Horford, F-C, Atlanta
    G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
    62 31.4 9.7
    9.8
    1.3 0.8 1.0 .485 .000 .700
    Last Week: 1 | Drafted: 3
    Horford relinquishes the lead thanks to too many fouls and too many missed shots. A year ago during this time of March, Horford was prepping for another No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. This time around he's hoping the Hawks can hold off New Jersey and sneak their way into the playoffs with the No. 8 spot.

    3. Al Thornton, F, L.A. Clippers
    G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
    59 24.7 11.8 4.2 1.1 0.5 0.4 .439 .356 .726
    Last Week: 4 | Drafted: 14
    Outside of Durant, Thornton is the next rookie I'd want with the ball in his hands and the shot clock running down in a late-game situation. Thornton proved how clutch he is against the Kings last week, scoring 22 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter and overtime.

    4. Luis Scola, F-C, Houston
    G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
    63 22.7 9.2 5.6 1.3 0.7 0.2 .524 .000 .621
    Last Week: 3 | Drafted: 56 by San Antonio in 2002
    Scola is the classic example of function trumping form. His jump shot is as ugly as a Mississippi paddlefish, his body looks more lumpy than long and lean and his haircut makes you think he should be playing tennis. But, as I've been saying all year long, he flat out gets the job done.

    5. Jamario Moon, F, Toronto
    G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
    59 28.5 8.6 6.1 1.2
    1.1
    1.4 .474 .310 .730
    Last Week: 5 | Drafted: Undrafted
    Maybe Moon should take a page out of Kevin Durant's book and reduce his three-point attempts. In four games last week he shot 2-for-8 (.250) from deep, but 17-for-26 (.653) from everywhere else. Keep taking it to the hoop, leave the threes to your teammate, Jason Kapono.

    6. Thaddeus Young, F, Philadelphia
    G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
    56 19.4 7.7 4.2 0.7 0.9 0.1 .545 .364 .721
    Last Week: 7 | Drafted: 12
    In two wins last week, Thaddeus went 15-for-19 from the floor, in the lone loss he still was respectable with 11 points and four rebounds. His season averages are approaching the numbers that Andre Iguodala put up as a rookie with 15 minutes more per game of playing time. If Philly can re-sign Iggy this summer, the future should be bright.

    7. Carl Landry, F, Houston
    G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
    28 16.6 8.5 5.0 0.5 0.5 0.2
    .633
    .000 .645
    Last Week: 8 | Drafted: 31
    Landry would have moved up even further if it wasn't for a bruised right knee that's kept him out of the Rockets lineup for their last two games. He may not win Rookie of the Year, but he has set himself up to enter the "Second Round Pick Turned Impact Player Club" currently occupied by Gilbert Arenas, Carlos Boozer, Daniel Gibson, Kyle Korver and Paul Millsap amongst others.

    8. Jeff Green, F, Seattle
    G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
    62 26.1 9.3 4.7 1.4 0.5 0.6 .438 .244 .706
    Last Week: 9 | Drafted: 5
    Green told The News Tribune that he works out extra hard before every game because, "Iím trying to get better at everything ... Getting better for the future, not just now.Ē That's got to be both inspiring and disheartening to Sonics fans at the same time, because even if Green does dramatically improve in the final part of the season, the Sonics are 16-48 and aren't going anywhere soon aside from the Lottery.

    9. Juan Carlos Navarro, G, Memphis
    G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
    63 26.1 10.6 2.6 2.2 0.6 0.0 .403
    .364
    0.844
    Last Week: 6 | Drafted: 40 by Washington in 2002
    Navarro wasn't just cold last week, he was frigid. The 6-3 guard shot 2-for-14 from three and 4-for-21 overall over three games. If it wasn't for his earlier exploits, he'd be out of the top 10.

    10. Joakim Noah, F, Chicago
    G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
    56 18.2 5.6 5.2 1.1 0.8 0.6 .457 .000 .677
    Last Week: The Next 10 | Drafted: 9
    Noah is back in the top 10 for the first time since October after turning in an amazing 13-point, 20-rebound performance against former teammate Ben Wallace and the rest of the Cavs. But I'm not ready to compare him to Muhammad Ali just yet.
    RED = Rookie Leader (Must Qualify)

    The Next 10 (alphabetical order): Corey Brewer (MIN), Mike Conley (MEM), Glen Davis (BOS), Jared Dudley (CHA), Spencer Hawes (SAC), Jason Smith (PHI), Rodney Stuckey (DET), Brandan Wright (GSW), Julian Wright (NOH), Nick Young (WAS)


    Noteworthy

    Sessions

    And then there were three. Ramon Sessions (MIL) got off the bench, into a game and out of The HNPAMY Club.
    Julian Wright (NOH) had everything going right for him against New Jersey, scoring a season-high 20 points on 8-for-9 shooting and collecting eight boards in the process.
    Here's a prediction: Dominic McGuire (WAS) will find his way into an NBA rotation. The stars score, the role players do the little things and the little things he did against Charlotte amounted to a lot as he contributed five points, four rebounds, three blocks and a steal in 15 minutes of PT.
    Daequan Cook (MIA) got the call to come back to the Heat after Dwyane Wade was shut down for the season and his D-League experience did him well as he dropped 23 points (including 5-for-10 from downtown) on the Clippers.
    The HNPAMY (Have Not Played A Minute Yet) Club: Herbert Hill** (PHI), Greg Oden** (POR), JamesOn Curry* (CHI)
    * = assigned to the D-League
    ** = injured

    Got beef with the rankings or have a comment or question for the Rookie Report? Send the Report an e-mail.