Each week, FanSided will be ranking the NBA rookies based on their performance so far this season.
This week, Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo nearly took the top spot. His performance in the Magic’s double overtime victory against the New York Knicks was fantastic, but the rest of Oladipo’s week wasn’t all that impressive. Plus, Philadelphia 76ers’ point guard Michael Carter-Williams’ season as a whole can’t be ignored.
1. Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Philadelphia 76ers
After a busy All-Star break, Carter-Williams and the 76ers got back to work on Tuesday. The 76ers were blown out by the Cleveland Cavaliers 114-85 and Carter-Williams again struggled shooting the ball, going five-of-14 from the field. He also turned the ball over seven times and had just one assist. He still managed to finish with 15 points and three rebounds. In a 124-112 loss to the Dallas Mavericks Friday night, Carter-Williams had 25 points on nine-of-19 shooting to go with six assists, five rebounds and only two turnovers despite fighting an illness. On the season, he’s averaging 17.3 points, 6.3 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game.
2. Victor Oladipo, G, Orlando Magic
Oladipo is inching closer to the top spot and nearly jumped Carter-Williams this week. After competing in the Rising Stars Game and the Skills Challenge at All-Star Weekend, Oladipo had a another busy week. On Tuesday, Oladipo had just six points on three-of-seven shooting with three assists, one rebound and one steal while playing just 22 minutes in 104-100 loss to the league’s worst team, the Milwaukee Bucks. A day later, in a 101-93 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, he wasn’t much better. He shot two-of-six from the field, scoring four points, grabbing four rebounds and dishing out four assists in only 18 minutes. On Friday, Oladipo logged 48 minutes and the best game of his young career in a 129-121 double overtime victory over the New York Knicks. Oladipo was brilliant down the stretch, earning a huge three-point play to push the lead to four as the second overtime winded down. He finished with 30 points on 11-of-23 shooting, 14 assists, nine rebounds and two steals. The Magic were in action again Sunday when they traveled to Toronto to take on the Raptors. The Raptors defeated the Magic 105-90. Oladipo had 11 points on just four-of-13 shooting, five steals, four rebounds and two assists. On the season, Oladipo is now averaging 13.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.6 steals per game.
3. Trey Burke, PG, Utah Jazz
Burke’s Jazz got back to work in a 105-99 loss to the Brooklyn Nets Wednesday. He scored 14 points on six-of-12 shooting to go with 10 assists and three rebounds. Two days later, the Jazz were defeated 102-94 by the Portland Trail Blazers. Burke again shot 50.0% from the field, connecting eight of his 16 shots. He had 21 points, seven assists and six rebounds. On Saturday, the Jazz played host the Minnesota Timberwolves and were defeated 121-104. In the loss, Burke had 16 points, six assists and three rebounds. He is now averaging 12.7 points, 5.6 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game.
4. Tim Hardaway, Jr. G, New York Knicks
Hardaway, Jr. is close to making another jump on the list. On Tuesday, Hardaway, Jr.’s Knicks were defeated by the Memphis Grizzlies 98-93. Hardaway, Jr. scored 23 points on seven-of-15 shooting. A day later, in a 98-91 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans, he had another productive game, scoring 16 points, grabbing three rebounds and dishing out two assists. In the Knicks’ 129-121 double overtime loss to the Orlando Magic Friday, he scored 15 points and grabbed four rebounds. The Knicks continued their southern road trip with a game in Atlanta against the Hawks Saturday. Hardaway, Jr. scored just seven points on three-of-10 shooting as the Knicks fell to the Hawks 107-98. Hardaway, Jr. is now averaging 9.6 points and 1.5 rebounds per game.
5. Giannis Antetokounmpo, G, Milwaukee Bucks
Antetokounmpo returns to the list after a week off. In Tuesday’s 104-100 win over the Orlando Magic, Antetokounmpo scored eight points, grabbed eight rebounds, dished out four assists, recorded two steals and blocked a shot. Two days later, in a 101-90 loss to the Denver Nuggets, Antetokounmpo had 11 points, four rebounds, four assists, three blocks and two assists. On Saturday, the Bucks were taken down by the Indiana Pacers 110-100. Antetokounmpo had eight points and six rebounds. On the season, he is averaging 7.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game.
Out: Nick Calathes, PG, Memphis Grizzlies
Calathes falls out mostly due to the return of starting point guard Mike Conley. Calathes had 11 points, five assists and three rebounds in a 98-93 win over the New York Knicks Tuesday, but was held scoreless in a 102-96 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers Friday. The Grizzlies were in Charlotte to take on the Bobcats Saturday and walked away with a 92-89 loss. In just 16 minutes, Calathes scored four points, dished out four assists, grabbed two rebounds, blocked one shot and recorded one steal. He’s averaging 5.0 points, 2.7 assists and 1.8 rebounds per game on the season.
Topics: Atlanta Hawks, Ben McLemore, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kelly Olynyk, Memphis Grizzlies, Michael Carter-Williams, NBA Rookie Of The Year Power Rankings: Week 16, Nick Calathes, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Pero Antic, Philadelphia 76ers, Sacramento Kings, Steven Adams, Trey Burke, Utah Jazz, Victor Oladipo