NBA Rookie Rankings: Andrew Nembhard shines against Warriors; Keegan Murray making game-winning plays for the Kings

NBA Rookie Rankings: Andrew Nembhard shines against Warriors; Keegan Murray making game-winning plays for the Kings

Arguably the top story among NBA rookies this week was by Andrew Nembhard standout performance in a 112-104 win over the Golden State Warriors. Nembhard edged out the reigning Finals MVP Stephen Curryand dismantled Golden State’s defense in the process. pacers Coach Rick Carlisle praised his rookie point guard after the game, saying he probably should have gone higher than the 2022 31st overall pick. NBA Draft.

“I’ve been saying that down the line, when there’s a ’22 draft, he’d be a top-15 pick,” Carlisle said. “I’m elevating this to a top 10. He really is a special player.”

Considering the impact Nembhard has had on the Pacers since being inserted into the starting lineup, it’s not a completely outrageous statement. We’ll just have to wait and see if the rookie can continue the tear he’s been on throughout this season.

Now it’s time to break this week’s N.B.A Rookie ranking. Note that these rankings will reflect a rookie’s performance on a week-to-week basis only, not the collective season. This is not the Rookie of the Year rankings, but rather a reflection on what the player has done in the last week.

Last week, Nembhard drained a game-winner to lift the Indiana Pacers over the top Los Angeles Lakers. This week, he dropped 31 points to go along with 13 assists and eight rebounds to lead the Pacers to a victory over the Golden State Warriors. In one night they were Tyrese Haliburton It was down, Nembhard took advantage of the opportunity to showcase the versatility of his game, and as a result, he just torched Golden State’s defense all night long.

He was taking Golden State’s defense straight into the paint with floaters, hoops and short jumpers, which isn’t surprising considering he’s been shooting 73 percent around the rim this season, which ranks in the 90th percentile among guards this season. league, for Cleaning the Glass. Off-the-rebound scoring was also impressive, working in some step-back 3s or stopping on a dime and hitting a fadeaway jumper. Nembhard was hitting shots we’re used to seeing from Stephen Curry, and he was doing it while the two-time league MVP was guarding him.

Apart from the goal, what was equally impressive about Nembhard’s game was his passing. When Haliburton is in the lineup, Nembhard doesn’t get many opportunities to run the offense and make plays for his teammates, but his performance as a facilitator against the Warriors certainly showed that the Pacers need to do more to get the ball inside. hands He executed the pick-and-roll flawlessly, even when the Warriors went to a zone defense or sent multiple defenders to Nembhard. He was delivering well-placed alley-oop passes all night, exposing the Warriors’ lack of rim protection. While Nembhard has been in the starting lineup for a while now for the Pacers, this was the first game that really highlighted the entirety of his game, which should lead to an expanded role for the rookie in the future.

The magic ended a nine-game losing streak this week with an overtime win over the Los Angeles Clippers, where Banchero knocked down six clutch free throws in the final seven seconds of overtime. It’s the exact type of pressure situation you want your rookies to go through to improve, and Banchero passed his first clutch test with flying colors. It was a solid finish for Banchero, who struggled to efficiently put points on the board for the Magic all game, going just 5-for-13 from the field.

In fact, it was Banchero’s third straight performance where he shot below 40 percent from the field, with back-to-back performances this week where he shot 25 percent. That’s a stark turnaround from some of the early-season efficiency we saw from him, but when you factor in Orlando’s opponents in its last three games — Los Angeles, Milwaukee and Toronto — you start to see why he fought to get into it. Rhythm. All three of these teams are ranked in the top 10 in defense and have the size and strength to upset Banchero. It’s a necessary test for the No. 1 overall pick, and it’s an opportunity to improve his game going forward. It’s not a worrisome sign about Banchero’s future, just an example to show that as impressive as he’s been this season in various aspects of the game, he’s still just a rookie with significant room for improvement.

Murray seems to have been doing much of his work quietly with little appreciation, perhaps because he plays in Sacramento, which rarely gets recognition. However, the kings they’re off to a 13-10 start, good for fifth in the West, and Murray is one of the few of his teammates not only contributing to a winning team, but starting as well. Last week, he had perhaps his best performance yet, tallying 23 points, seven rebounds and two steals.

Murray’s fit in the starting lineup feels perfect for the Kings. He doesn’t need the ball in his hands to do damage, instead cutting to the rim waiting for one of his teammates to feed him or flying around a screen for a jumper. Murray is among the best in the league at cutting the edge, generating 1,542 points per possession, which ranks in the 86th percentile, per Synergy Sports. He’s just making smart reads of the defense, and it’s paying off, like on this dunk against him Bucks:

Or this cut on the edge where Joan Wall He basically just gave up the play defensively and let Murray slide for an easy bucket:

Murray may not be filling up the stat sheet like other rookies, but he is making game-winning plays for his team every night. He’s showing his versatility as a three-level scorer, and he’s also showing off his defensive chops.

The rockets He had two really impressive wins this week where Smith flourished. The first came in a 122-121 come-from-behind win against the alone in which Smith put up 17 points and six boards. Smith shot 58.3 percent from the floor and 60 percent from 3-point range in that game, continuing his upward trend in efficiency. The second standout performance was a 132-123 double overtime win over the Sixers, where he finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds, showing his defensive prowess on the perimeter.

Houston won’t win any awards this season for its defense, as it currently ranks 28th in the league, but the effort and fundamentals Smith has already shown on the defensive side of the ball this season give us a glimpse of how how special it can be. be on this side of the ball. Smith’s length and lateral movement can be troublesome for perimeter guards, and his size allows him to get into the paint against bigs. He’s the type of versatile defender that every team in the league would love to have, and while he still has a long way to go before he can shut down opponents on a nightly basis, you can already see flashes of that potential when he plays.

Here are some wild numbers to show just how impactful Eason has been for the Rockets when he’s on the floor. Houston scores 5.7 more points on offense and allows 5.6 fewer points on defense when Eason is in the lineup, both of which rank in the 84th percentile league-wide. He ranks sixth in the league in steal percentage (37.1), ahead of guys like Alex Caruso, Jevon Carter i Ben Simmons. Eason is averaging less than 20 minutes per game, but he makes the most of it when he’s on the floor, breaking up passes, being active in passing lanes and being the go-to guy for the Rockets. Maybe as the season goes on we’ll see Eason in a more expanded role, because right now every time he’s in the lineup he’s doing something positive.

#NBA #Rookie #Rankings #Andrew #Nembhard #shines #Warriors #Keegan #Murray #making #gamewinning #plays #Kings

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