Each week, FanSided will be ranking the NBA rookies based on their performance so far this season.
This week, it was announced that each member of the list, which is unchanged from last week, will participate in All-Star Weekend.
All five will play in Friday night’s Rising Stars Game, which features first and second-year players. Michael Carter-Williams of the Philadelphia 76ers and Victor Oladipo of the Orlando Magic will team up in Saturday night’s Taco Bell Skills Challenge. Milwaukee Bucks’ guard Giannis Antetkounmpo will team with Toronto Raptors’ guard DeMar DeRozan and Utah Jazz point Trey Burke will be partnered with Portland Trail Blazers’ point guard Damian Lillard. New York Knicks’ guard Tim Hardaway, Jr. will join his father Tim Hardaway, Sr. and 2013 WNBA Rookie of the Year Elena Della Donne in the Sears’ Shooting Stars competition.
1. Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Philadelphia 76ers
Carter-Williams returned from his shoulder injury in a 108-102 loss to the Brooklyn Nets Monday night. He scored 21 points on six-of-17 shooting with four assists, two rebounds and two assists. On Wednesday, the Boston Celtics took down the 76ers 114-108. Carter-Williams had 11 points on five-of-16 shooting, six assists and three rebounds. In yet another loss on Friday, this time a 112-98 defeat tat the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers, Carter-Williams scored 10 points on four-of-12 shooting to go with seven assists, six rebounds, a block and a steal. Carter-Williams’ final game of the week was an absolute embarrassment. Not only were the 76ers absolutely destroyed by the Los Angeles Clippers 123-78, but Carter-Williams had just 14 points on five-of-18 shooting to go with seven rebounds, five assists, two blocks, one steal and eight turnovers. Carter-Williams’ complete body of work (17.0 points, 6.6 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game) keeps him in the top spot, but if he continues to be so inefficient, he could lose the top spot.
Oladipo got off to a tough start this week. In a 98-79 loss to the Indiana Pacers, who are #1 in the league in defensive rating, he had just six points on two-of-11 shooting. He did, however, make up for his poor shooting in other ways – he dished out 11 assists, grabbed five rebounds and had four steals. On Wednesday, the Magic earned a home victory, defeating the Detroit Pistons 112-98. Oladipo had one of the most efficient games of his career. He scored 20 points on eight-of-10 shooting to go with four rebounds, three assists and two steals. In Friday’s thrilling 103-102 come-from-behind victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder, Oladipo helped make the biggest play of the game. After a Kevin Durant miss, Oladipo corralled the rebound, dribbled into the paint and dished to Maurice Harkless, who gave it to Tobias Harris for a dunk at the buzzer, giving the Magic the one-point win. Oladipo finished with 14 points on five-of-seven shooting, yet another very efficient game. He also had five rebounds, three assists, two steals and a blocked shot. On Sunday, what Oladipo did was even more impressive. He scored 13 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter as the Magic rallied from a 17-point deficit to defeat the Indiana Pacers 93-92. He shot eight-of-18 from the floor, grabbed four rebounds, dished out four assists and had two steals. On the season, he’s averaging 13.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.6 steals per game.
3. Trey Burke, PG, Utah Jazz
After a poor week last week, Burke got off to another bad start this week. In a 94-79 loss to the Toronto Raptors, he had just eight points on four-of-14 shooting with six rebounds and three assists. Burke got back to work Friday night in a 103-81 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Burke again shot poorly, going four-of-14 from the field. He finished with 13 points, five assists and a rebounds. The Jazz finally got a win, upsetting the two-time defending champion Miami Heat 94-89 on Saturday night. Burke had 13 points, three assists and a rebound. On the season, he’s now averaging 12.7 points, 5.5 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game.
4. Tim Hardaway, Jr. G, New York Knicks
After having the best week of his career, Hardaway took a step back this week. In a 101-98 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks Monday, Hardaway shot just two-of-10 from the field. He finished with seven points, two assists and a rebound. He was a little better two days later in the Knicks’ 94-90 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, but still shot poorly, going five-of-13 from the field. He finished with 12 points and five assists. On Friday night, the Knicks snapped their three-game losing streak with a 117-90 victory over the Denver Nuggets. Hardaway scored 10 points on four-of-nine shooting, dished out two assists and grabbed a rebound. Perhaps most importantly, he played 28, 27 and 30 minutes in those three games. He’s not averaging 9.3 points and 1.4 rebounds per game.
5. Giannis Antetokounmpo, G, Milwaukee Bucks
Antetokounmpo’s week got off to a fantastic start. In a 101-98 victory over the New York Knicks, he scored 15 points on five-of-nine shooting to go with three rebounds, two assists and a steal. Two days later, the Bucks were defeated by the Denver Nuggets 110-100. Antetokounmp had five points on one-of-four shooting. He grabbed four rebounds, dished out an assist, blocked a shot and had a steal. The Bucks were back in action Friday night when they were defeated by the Houston Rockets 101-95. It was a tough night for Antetokounmp, who went 0-of-eight from the field. He finished with one point, five rebounds, a block and a steal. He’s now averaging 7.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game.
Tags: Atlanta Hawks Ben McLemore Giannis Antetokounmpo Kelly Olynyk Michael Carter-Williams Oklahoma City Thunder Orlando Magic Pero Antic Philadelphia 76ers Sacramento Kings Steven Adams Trey Burke Utah Jazz Victor Oladipo