Rookie Rankings -- Week 21
Posted Mar 26 2008 1:27PM
SECAUCUS, NJ, March 26, 2008 -- This week weíll start the rankings with a mailbag. I know the two are usually separate, but if Smucker's can put peanut butter and jelly in the same jar, I think I can get away with combining the mailbag and rankings one week.
Lately Iíve come to the conclusion that I must be some kind of masochist. Just look at my behavior:
For starters, the fact that Iím a Philadelphia sports fan and willingly root for a city that hasnít won a major pro sports championship in 25 years can only be classified as a form of self abuse.
Then there are the times when Iím flipping through the channels and I drop whatever else Iím doing to watch Rudy for the 900th time, knowing full well that Iíll be misty eyed when Fortune shows up in the stands for the Georgia Tech game at the end. That canít be healthy.
And I canít tell you how many nights Iíve spent watching reality TV with my girlfriend, only to end up being angry with myself at the end of the evening for A) Wasting my time watching garbage B) Not watching a basketball game instead.
In honor of this incessant desire to inflict pain upon myself, consider this mailbag another exercise in masochism. This week Iím giving you all the best of the hate.
After opening the first dozen or so of your e-mails following last weekís Rookie Rankings, a theme started to develop: Iím an idiot.
Or, at least a small, yet vocal minority of my readers seem to think so.
Rather than get upset about it and erase the e-mails that trashed me and only use the positive notes, Iíve compiled the best insults and arguments directed my way.
Usually Iíd just write, ďEnjoy,Ē and get to the e-mails, but since this week is all about the naysayer, I hope you hate this.
Lee, Location Unknown - That was the worst piece of writing I think I have ever read.Obviously you've never read The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
Alexei, Vancouver, Canada - Starting off the aritcle with ďA man from...Ē was a nice beginning, but sticking with it all the way through was terrible. Your article was painful to read.Starting your e-mail off with a compliment was a nice beginning, but the insult at the end was terrible. Variety is the spice of life, I try to bring something new to the table every week to keep you all reading.
Nick, Elk Grove, CA - I really want to know why Spencer Hawes isn't at least listed in your top 20. I get that the Kings are rebuilding and aren't an impact team, but Hawes is playing with a lot of poise for a rookie and has a complete game. His numbers are better than Julian Wrightís overall, and you have Wright at No. 10 ... I think you should look at individual play, not team seeding before you lock in these rankings.Hawes has put up two huge games this month (14 points, eight rebounds, four blocks against the Lakers and 19, 12 and three against the Grizzlies), but what about his 2-for-9 with five turnovers against Phoenix or his invisible game against the Spurs? At the time of publication last week, Wright seemed to be getting stronger by the game and was coming off of back-to-back double digit scoring efforts. The same thing that separates good flan from bad flan is what gets you moving up in my rankings -- consistency. Of course, since I put Wright at No. 10 last week, he went 2-for-8 over two games, so you'll see he relinquished his spot.
Juan, Rosario, Argentina - Are you really believing this or is David Stern pointing a contract to your head?The Commisioner has more important things to worry about than my column, I assure you. Durant's play in March has been better than his play in any other month all season, while Horford's offense has been spotty. It's a close race, but Durant's flashes of brilliance combined with his added responsibility of being the face of the franchise at just 19-years old, gives him the edge for now.
SJ, Atlanta, GA - There is NO WAY Al Horford shouldnít be on top of this list. I think you should stop sucking up to Kevin Durant, just because of his name. Yes, he MIGHT be a superstar in the making, but he hasn't done enough to be on the top of the rookie list. Al has. Period! End of story.According to Juan I'm not sucking up to Durant because of his name, but because David Stern told me to. Get it straight.
Alejandro, Boston, MA - I can't believe that's the only thing you have to say about Scola. I wish you were smarter than that. Thank God we have the much better ESPN rankings in which Scola is ranked No. 1 right now.Another person using the "if this guy was on a worse team, he'd be better" argument. Drop that fantasy, it's a flawed exercise in presumption. Scola is ranked where is he for two reasons: Yao Ming went out and his minutes increased, and the Rockets went on a 22-game winning streak. What makes you say that Scola's numbers would be so much better on the Hawks? I could just as easily counter and say that if you put Horford on the Rockets at the beginning of the season he would have started from day one at the 4, had the benefit of playing with better teammates all year long and his numbers would have destroyed Scola's even more than they already do.
Chris, Florida - Your Rookie Rankings are a joke. Anyone who watches basketball and has watched Al Thorton and Scola can obviously see that Thorton is a much better player. But you have Scola ranked higher all the time. I donít think you watch much basketball and Iím sure the guy who does this job should.Now, if I really listened to all of you here's how the rankings would play out: SJ says Horford is better than Durant. Alejandro says Scola is better than Horford. Chris says Thornton is better than Scola. Al Thornton, your 2008 NBA Rookie of the Year!!!!
Dr. J, Bismarck, ND - So now Al Horfordís nickname is ďBig AlĒ? I believe that it is already taken by the real Big Al, Al Jefferson.This coming from a guy who calls himself "Dr. J"? Unless Julius Erving moved to North Dakota, you're just as guilty of cribbing a nickname.
Tom, Troy, NH - What, No "Big Baby" Glen Davis? Talk about a rookie who makes an impact off the bench, hustle, and basketball smarts, Glen has it all. If he was on a lousy team, he would be on the list.Glen has it all besides consistent playing time and a rebounding average up to par for a guy who measures 6-9, 289 pounds. Listen, he works hard and he hustles, but if you watch him play the only thing he's looking to do when he gets in is score and that's not what the Celtics really need from him.
JR, Toronto, Canada - ďMoon hauled in a career-high 14 rebounds against Miami on Wednesday, but come on, it was against Miami. You can't really brag about that one." Hey, don't hate. He's in the NBA, youíre not.I'm not the one hating. It was a joke. If I was hating my response to you would be, "I write for NBA.com, you don't." But since I'm not hating, I won't write that.
Fede, Buenos Aires, Argentina - ďNo offense to Scola, but there is no way that he should be getting as many shots as Tracy McGrady. With 30 shots by Scola over the last two games to McGrady's 32, no wonder the Rockets have fallen into a two-game skid after their magnificent 22-game run". No offense, but that was just an ignorant comment. Why shouldnít the Rockets give more the ball to Scola than to T-Mac if he is shooting a .524 while McGrady only .435? Start looking at the stats, it might be helpful for your job. Base your remarks on facts (stats) and not on personal views or partisan opinions.My assertion that Scola shouldn't be shooting as much as Tracy McGrady elicited more response than anything else in last week's column. I'm aware of the shooting percentage disparity between the two players, but do you really want Luis Scola shooting as much as Tracy McGrady? Does that sound like the proper use of talent? Scola is a fine player. He's good around the rim and can knock down a mid-range jumper, but Tracy McGrady is a two-time scoring champion who once scored 13 points in 33 seconds against the Spurs. Ask any GM in the league and they would rather have T-Mac getting six to eight of those shots that Scola took. Scola doesn't have the offensive repertoire to be a No. 1 option. As for liking a US player over an international one, I may be a patriot but I'm not an idiot. I don't judge guys based on where they're from, I judge based on how they play.
Ariel, Rosario, Argentina - McMenamin, are you blind?No, just a little bleary eyed ... Rudy just came on TV.
Korleone Young slide of the week: Al Thornton LAC (-2).
Overall Rankings - Week 21
RED = Rookie Leader (Must Qualify)
The Next 10 (alphabetical order): Corey Brewer (MIN), Mike Conley (MEM), Daequan Cook (MIA), Glen Davis (BOS), Jared Dudley (CHA), Spencer Hawes (SAC), Rodney Stuckey (DET), Sean Williams (NJN), Julian Wright (NOH), Nick Young (WAS)
Got beef with the rankings or have a comment or question for the Rookie Report? Send the Report an e-mail.