Bucks Diary

Saturday, November 10, 2007

NBA Rookie Watch: Yi takes over

I want to base my rookie rankings strictly on Eff48 production to provide an objective ordering, but I'm running into a problem.

If one guy plays 10 minutes in a game, its easier for him to produce at a higher level than someone like Yi or Durant who play over 25 minutes in the same game. The 10 minute guy scores a couple buckets, pounds the boards, and then goes to the bench and has his numbers projected over 48 minutes; Yi and Durant actually have to keep producing. So its not fair to the high minute guys. (Once you get over 20+ minutes, that flaw in the statistic becomes de minimis.)

On the other hand, if I establish a fair minimum game and minute requirement, suddenly I don't have 10 qualifying rookies (for instance, my number one rookie from last week, Daquaen Cook, hasn't played since!).

So I'm going to compromise. I'm giving precedence to the guys who have played at least 20 minutes in every eligible game then I just fill in the rest, in accordance with their production.

Each player's Eff48 average to date is given after his name.

NBA Rookie Rankings: Week Two

1. Yi Jianlian......22.6 (5 games -- 27 min/g)
Big week for Yi. He continues to flabbergast me with his high level of play. He's even rebounding and going to the basket now. Unless Durant collapses, though, he has no chance at ROY.

2. Al Horford......22.1 (5 games -- 30 min/g)
Is there any question why Atlanta looks so improved? They already had the scorers. Now they've got attitude with this 21st century Maurice Lucas windexing their backboards. Tito's kid is rebounding at an outstanding .33 rebs/min rate. By comparison, Mo Malone grabbed .37 rebs/min in his career.

3. Kevin Durant......20.1 (6 games -- 35 min/g)
Last week someone compared rookie Durant to rookie Jordan. My friend, I urge you to go on Youtube and search "Bucks-Bulls 10.27.1984" and watch the video. That was 23 years ago, and I can still see Jordan's "rock the cradle" dunk in my mind's eye. MJ hit the NBA like a force majuere. Durant, by comparison, looks pedestrian. And that's really not meant as a slight on Durant.

4. Jason Smith......24.7 (5 games -- 15 min/g)
I heard great reports about this guy on the various predraft websites. I've heard those before, but in Smith's case they seem to have been true. Technically, he should be the number one rookie, but he just isn't getting enough minutes per game for me to justify that. I will if he continues producing.

5. Jeff Green......17.4 (6 games -- 19 min/g)
The Green machine had a much better week. He hit the boards with some gusto against Memphis, and he scored with some vigor against Utah. Now he just needs to put the two together.

6. Joakim Noah.....18.6 (2 games -- 15 min/g)
Good to see the big prick... err... guy make his debut for the Bulls. We really missed him when the Bulls came to Milwaukee. We have a great fondness for half Swedish half Frenchmen who take shots at our neighborhood.

7. Acie Law......13.2 (5 games -- 22 min/g)
With Conley riding the pines and Law producing like this, it shows what a valuable piece of property an NBA ready point guard can be. And then you consider the Bucks passed on two of them in 2005 and then you need some Aleve.

8. Corey Brewer......11.5 (4 games -- 14 min/g)
I reserve the right to change my mind, but so far I'm not sorry we passed on this latest version of "Scottie Pippen".

9. Al Thornton......10.7 (5 games -- 19 min/g)
I was reading the ESPN NBA preview issue at the gym, and I think 3 of the 8 "experts" selected Al Thornton as the ROYOTD (Rookie of the Year other than Durant).

10. Arron Affllalo.......10.0 (5 games -- 13 min/g )
Damn, Affllalo's name is hard to spell! First and last names. Many more weeks like the last one and I won't have to worry about it anymore.


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