SECAUCUS, NJ, April 9, 2008 -- As promised last week, it’s time to take a long hard look at this year’s rookie class. Not a glance, not a once-through, but rather a concentrated stare down sort of how Larry David leans in, raises his eyebrow and gives people the inquisitive eyes when he doesn’t trust them.

Since there’s so much ground to cover and it could get pretty tedious to run through the 50-plus rookies and break down each of their seasons game by game, I’m going to do this Senior Superlative style. You know how you get your high school yearbook and there’s the part everybody flips to first to see who was named, “Best Smile,” “Biggest Flirt” or “Most Likely to Succeed”? Let’s take the same concept and apply it to the rooks.

BEST FAN SUPPORT
Even if these players have a bad week on the court, my e-mail inbox and Facebook wall are still littered with fans pleading their cases for Rookie of the Year.
Glen Davis, Celtics
Jamario Moon, Raptors
Luis Scola, Rockets

MOST LIKELY TO WIN MOST IMPROVED PLAYER
All it will take is some extended playing time and these players could be vying for the MIP trophy next season.
Sean Williams, Nets
Brandan Wright, Warriors
Julian Wright, Hornets

BEST BLOGGER
These players are ahead of the curve, using their blogs to not only entertain their fans and to have something to look back on when their playing days are over, but for self promotion as well.
Morris Almond, JazzRead it
Al Horford, Hawks - Read it
Greg Oden, BlazersRead it

BEST COUPLE
It’s always better with two; these are the most successful pairs of rookie teammates.
Mike Conley and Juan Carlos Navarro, Grizzlies
Carl Landry and Luis Scola, Rockets
Kevin Durant and Jeff Green, Sonics

MR. INCOGNITO
Who are these guys? The average NBA fan has no idea who these rookies are.
Marcin Gortat, Magic
Cheikh Samb, Pistons
The Miami Heat’s D-League Call-ups

Line of the Week
Kevin Durant (SEA)
April 6 vs. DEN
37 points, 9 ast, 8 reb, 3 stl, 11-24 FG,13-13 FT Video
BEST SINGLE-GAME PERFORMANCE
On one night, you forgot these guys were rookies and thought you were looking at All-Stars.
Kevin Durant, SonicsApril 6 vs. DEN- Goes for 37 points, nine assists, eight rebounds and hits two huge threes at the end of regulation and the end of the first overtime to lead the Sonics over the Nuggets in double-OT.
Juan Carlos Navarro, GrizzliesNov. 16 vs. NOH - Ties Jason Kidd and Chris Duhon’s rookie record for most threes in a game with eight, as he goes 8-for-9 from deep en route to 28 points.
Al Thornton, ClippersJan. 30 vs. ATL – Before the game Thornton heard he didn’t make the roster for the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge so he explodes for an indignant 33 points and a win.

BEST OUT-OF-NOWHERE PERFORMANCE
You forgot these guys were even in the league before they had one big night.
Nick Fazekas, ClippersApril 3 at SAC- After being released by the Mavericks early in the season and spending time in the D-League, Fazekas bounces back with 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting with his new Clippers squad.
Chris Richard, TimberwolvesDec. 14 vs. SEA - The forgotten Florida Gator to make it to the league this year dropped 10 points on the Sonics on 4-for-4 shooting.
Oleksiy Pecherov, WizardsMarch 5 vs. ORL – The big man with the smooth stroke and multi-syllabic name scored 15 points against the Magic on 6-for-8 shooting.

MR. CONSISTENTLY INCONSISTENT
They’ll give you 15 and 10 one night and zero and two the next. Their flashes of brilliance are evened out by their no shows.
Corey Brewer, Timberwolves
Mike Conley, Grizzlies
Nick Young, Wizards

SECOND HALF ALL-STARS
These rookies probably enjoyed reading Leo the Late Bloomer as children.
Wilson Chandler, Knicks
Carl Landry, Rockets
Thaddeus Young, Sixers

SECOND HALF SLUMPERS
The rookie season is a marathon, not a race. These guys ran out of steam after promising starts.
Jason Smith, Sixers
Sean Williams, Nets
Yi Jianlian, Bucks

MR. CALL A MEDIC
Injuries seriously hampered these players’ seasons.
Mike Conley, Grizzlies
Acie Law, Hawks
Rodney Stuckey, Pistons

DRAFTED TOO HIGH
If the draft was done over again today, these guys would have to wait a little bit longer to shake David Stern’s hand.
Marco Belinelli, Warriors
Corey Brewer, Timberwolves
Yi Jianlian, Bucks

DRAFTED TOO LOW
If the draft was done over again today, these guys would have to wait a lot less time to shake David Stern’s hand.
Carl Landry, Rockets
Al Thornton, Clippers
Thaddeus Young, Sixers

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  • Korleone Young slide of the week: N. Young WAS (-2).
    Eddie Gottlieb rise of the week: J. Green SEA, J. Moon TOR (+1).

    Overall Rankings - Week 23

    1. Kevin Durant, G-F, Seattle
    G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
    76
    34.4
    20.0
    4.2 2.3 0.9 0.9 .424 .284
    .878
    Last Week: 1 | Drafted: 2
    Just when it looked like KD might let go of his grip on the top spot with a horrendous 2-for-17 showing against Houston, he bounced back with a transcendent game against Denver (see: Line of the Week). And breaking news; Durant's quick and his fast had a baby and named him, "Speedy." I bet Speedy is cute.

    2. Al Horford, F-C, Atlanta
    G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
    77 31.2 10.0
    9.6
    1.5 0.8 0.9 .499 .000 .726
    Last Week: 2 | Drafted: 3
    Al came up huge with 14 points and 12 rebounds in a win against the struggling Raptors last week, but only mustered four points on 2-for-7 shooting and five fouls in a loss to the Pacers on Tuesday. He has five games left to try to catch Durant, which might be hard considering that Durant's aided by his entourage of Quick, Fast and Speedy. Maybe this Web Site will help.

    3. Luis Scola, F-C, Houston
    G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
    77 24.2 9.9 6.1 1.2 0.7 0.2 .513 .000 .673
    Last Week: 3 | Drafted: 56 by San Antonio in 2002
    The Rockets had a favorable schedule last week as they plowed through three teams out of playoff contention in Portland, Seattle and the L.A. Clippers. Scola scored 16 against the Clippers and grabbed 12 rebounds over the Sonics, but against the Trail Blazers he picked up five fouls and was held scoreless for the first time since Jan. 21.

    4. Jamario Moon, F, Toronto
    G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
    73 28.2 8.8 6.2 1.2
    1.0
    1.4 .493 .319 .735
    Last Week: 5 | Drafted: Undrafted
    Moon's proved the doubters wrong this year and is stamping his name in the record books along the way. With a start tonight against the Bucks, he'll break Damon Stoudamire's Raptors franchise mark for most starts in a season.

    5. Al Thornton, F, L.A. Clippers
    G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
    75 26.8 12.4 4.4 1.2 0.6 0.5 .426 .344 .751
    Last Week: 4 | Drafted: 14
    For all the scrutiny that Durant received in February for his low shooting percentage, it's only fair to point out Thornton's shaky marksmanship last week. The forward out of Florida State shot 18-for-52 (.346) in four games last, while only shot five foul shots in that span. Quit settling for jumpers and get to the rim!

    6. Jeff Green, F, Seattle
    G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
    76 27.8 10.3 4.7 1.5 0.6 0.6 .431 .302 .729
    Last Week: 7 | Drafted: 5
    You know how they say twins are on the same wavelength and sometimes feel the same emotion simultaneously? I'm starting to think that Green and Kevin Durant have some of that twin power going on. How else can you explain the two of them hitting their nadir on the same night against Houston (Green went 1-for-8 and Durant was the aforementioned 2-for-17) and following it up by hitting their zenith together (Green scored a season-high 35 points and Durant had the aforementioned 37) in the next game vs. Denver?

    7. Thaddeus Young, F, Philadelphia
    G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
    69 20.3 7.8 4.2 0.7 0.9 0.1 .539 .286 .759
    Last Week: 6 | Drafted: 12
    Young and the Sixers have clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 2005, and now have five games remaining to figure out if they'll be playing Detroit, Orlando, Cleveland or Washington in the first round.

    8. Joakim Noah, F, Chicago
    G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
    69 20.2 6.3 5.6 1.1 0.9 0.8 .474 .000 .686
    Last Week: 8 | Drafted: 9
    You can't exactly call it a silver lining, because a team that made the second round of the playoffs in 2007 is never supposed to lose to a team that only has 13 wins through April of 2008, but Bulls fans have to take a little bit of satisfaction is seeing Noah's line of 16 points and 13 rebounds on Tuesday. Call it an unpolished silver lining.

    9. Rodney Stuckey, G, Detroit
    G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
    52 18.3 7.3 2.2 2.7 0.9 0.1 .408 .231 .792
    Last Week: The Next 10 | Drafted: 15
    By scoring in double digits for the sixth time in his last eight games, Stuckey was able to help the Pistons cut the Knicks' 25-point lead down to just two with 33 seconds remaining in their game on Tuesday. He is all the way back from his hand injury and he's gracing the top 10 for the first time since the preseason.

    10. Juan Carlos Navarro, G, Memphis
    G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
    78 25.6 10.9 2.5 2.1 0.6 0.0 .410 .368 0.841
    Last Week: 10 | Drafted: 40 by Washington in 2002
    Navarro needs 10 made 3-pointers in his last four games to tie Kerry Kittles for the most threes in a season by a rookie (158).
    RED = Rookie Leader (Must Qualify)

    The Next 10 (alphabetical order): Arron Afflalo (DET), Corey Brewer (MIN), Aaron Brooks (HOU), Mike Conley (MEM), Daequan Cook (MIA), Glen Davis (BOS), Jared Dudley (CHA), Spencer Hawes (SAC), Ramon Sessions (MIL), Nick Young (WAS)

    Noteworthy

    Sessions

    Ramon Sessions (MIL) had a dream week after spending most of the season in the D-League. First he spoiled Agent Zero's comeback by hitting the game winner in Arenas' eye and he followed up that night with a three-game stretch of 11 points and seven assists; eight and 10 and 13 and seven.
    Kasib Powell (MIA) might have had a better week than Sessions as he was named D-League MVP over the weekend and came back to the big league to put in 18 points, six rebounds and three assists in a win against the Bulls on Tuesday.
    Check out the new Rookie Records section powered by STATS LLC below.
    The HNPAMY (Have Not Played A Minute Yet) Club: Herbert Hill** (PHI), Greg Oden** (POR), JamesOn Curry* (CHI)
    * = assigned to the D-League
    ** = injured


    ROOKIE RECORDS  
    STAT 07-08 GAME 07-08 AVG 07-08 TOTALS ALL-TIME GAME ALL-TIME AVG ALL-TIME TOTALS
    Points 39
    Al Thornton
    LAC
    20.0
    Kevin Durant
    SEA
    1,517
    Kevin Durant
    SEA
    58
    Wilt Chamberlain
    PHI '59-60
    37.6
    Wilt Chamberlain
    PHI '59-60
    2,707
    Wilt Chamberlain
    PHI '59-60
    Rebounds 20
    Al Horford
    ATL
    Joakim Noah
    CHI
    9.6
    Al Horford
    ATL
    740
    Al Horford
    ATL
    45
    Wilt Chamberlain
    PHI '59-60
    27.0
    Wilt Chamberlain
    PHI '59-60
    1,941
    Wilt Chamberlain
    PHI '59-60
    Assists 11
    Mike Conley
    MEM
    4.3
    Ramon Sessions
    MIL
    200
    Mike Conley
    MEM
    25
    Ernie DiGregorio
    BUF '73-74
    Nate McMillan
    SEA '86-87
    10.6
    Mark Jackson
    NYK '87-88
    868
    Mark Jackson
    NYK '87-88
    Steals 5
    Four Players
    1.0
    Jamario Moon
    TOR
    76
    Jamario Moon
    TOR
    8*
    Brevin Knight
    CLE '97-98
    2.6
    Dudley Bradley
    IND '79-80
    211
    Dudley Bradley
    IND '79-80
    Blocks 8
    Sean Williams
    NJN
    1.5
    Sean Williams
    NJN
    106
    Sean Williams
    NJN
    10*
    Dikembe Mutombo
    DEN '91-92
    Josh Smith
    ATL '04-05
    5.0
    Manute Bol
    WAS '85-86
    397
    Manute Bol
    WAS '85-86
    * = STATS LLC only carries stat back to 1991-92

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

    Rookie Rankings Weekly Leaders
    Preseason: Al Thornton, Clippers
    Week 1: Kevin Durant, Sonics
    Week 2: Kevin Durant, Sonics
    Week 3: Kevin Durant, Sonics
    Week 4: Kevin Durant, Sonics
    Week 5: Kevin Durant, Sonics
    Week 6: Kevin Durant, Sonics
    Week 7: Al Horford, Hawks
    Week 8: Al Horford, Hawks
    Week 9: Kevin Durant, Sonics
    Week 10: Kevin Durant, Sonics
    Week 11: Kevin Durant, Sonics
    Week 12: Kevin Durant, Sonics
    Week 13: Kevin Durant, Sonics
    Week 14: Kevin Durant, Sonics
    Week 15: Al Horford, Hawks
    Week 16: Al Horford, Hawks
    Week 17: Al Horford, Hawks
    Week 18: Al Horford, Hawks
    Week 19: Kevin Durant, Sonics
    Week 20: Kevin Durant, Sonics
    Week 21: Kevin Durant, Sonics
    Week 22: Kevin Durant, Sonics