2012-13 NBA Rookie Report: Week 3
Injuries have begun to affect the 2012-13 rookie class. In some cases, injuries have forced some to the bench. In other cases injuries have provided opportunities for rookies to gain playing time.
Week 3 saw a few more newcomers put up some impressive numbers but would it be enough to push their way into the Rookie Report?
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
Lillard remains in the top spot on the Rookie Report for the third consecutive week and the reason for that is simple. Lillard has been producing fantastic performances consistently from week 1.
The start of week 3 was arguably Lillard’s worst game of the season. He really struggled shooting the ball, going 5 of 18 from the field; 2 of 7 from three.
He finished with 12 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists in a 95 – 87 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
Lillard stepped up in the Trail Blazers next game, a 103 – 86 win against the Sacramento Kings.
In the 2nd game of a back-to-back, Lillard put up 22 points, 9 assists and 2 rebounds. But more importantly, he shot the ball well.
Lillard went 7 of 10 from the field while hitting 5 of 6 attempts from beyond the arc.
The Trail Blazers finished off week 3 with a tough 119 – 117 win versus the Houston Rockets. Once again, Lillard played a big part in the win.
He scored 27 points, grabbed 5 rebounds and handed out 5 assists. And he also shot the ball well. He hit 9 of 18 from the field, although he only hit 3 of 9 from deep.
If the Rookie of the Year award was handed out today, it would go to Damian Lillard. The rookie out of Weber State University has been fantastic so far this NBA season.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte Bobcats
I must admit that I have become a Charlotte Bobcats fan and a big fan of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, which may or may not have played a part in having MKG in the 2nd spot on the Rookie Report. But let me explain myself.
For the 2011-12 shortened NBA season, the Charlotte Bobacts had 7 total wins. After week 3, the Bobcats have 5 wins on the season, and Kidd-Gilchrist has been a big part of the early turnaround in Charlotte.
MKG had a solid game in the opening game of week 3, a 92 – 76 Bobcats win versus the Washington Wizards.
Kidd-Gilchrist finished with 15 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists. He was 6 of 11 from the field while picking up 5 fouls.
The Bobcats next game was the 2nd of a back-back. MKG picked up a back injury that limited him to only 17 minutes.
He was able to contribute 2 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists in an 89 – 87 win in Minnesota.
Thankfully the injury wasn’t too serious as MKG bounced back with 12 points, 8 rebounds (4 offensive) and a block in a 94 – 87 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
As many rookies do, MKG has been having foul trouble. He picked up 5 fouls versus both the Wizards and the Grizzlies.
The Bobcats need Kidd-Gilchrist on the floor if they hope to continue their winning ways.
Anthony Davis, New Orleans Hornets
The Hornets lost all 3 of their week 3 games. Davis also struggled to start week 3 but he sure did finish it off well.
Davis had 8 points, 4 rebounds and 3 blocks as the Hornets dropped a 100 – 96 decision to the Houston Rockets.
Davis again tallied 8 points along with 11 rebounds (5 offensive) and 2 blocks in a 110 – 95 Hornets loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Davis shot the ball poorly in the loss. He had 4 buckets on 14 attempts from the field.
In a bounce back performance, Davis dropped a career-high 28 points on 10 of 14 shooting in a 117 – 113 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. He also added 11 rebounds to his stat sheet.
Unfortunately for the Hornets, Davis also tweaked his ankle in the game. The injury is being called a stress reaction and the concern is that if he plays on the ankle, the injury could become more serious.
I continue to keep Davis on the Rookie Report because when he plays he is a true difference maker. But if he cannot stay healthy enough to play he may find his position has been lost to one of the other rookies.
Other rookies making positive contributions to their teams include Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors), Kyle Singler (Detroit Pistons), Alexey Shved (Minnesota Timberwolves), Dion Waiters (Cleveland Cavaliers) and Jae Crowder (Dallas Mavericks).
Which rookies would you like to see on the Rookie Report?