Rookie of the Year Race

FINAL Update: 04/27/2012

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The season is over and the race for Rookie of the Year is now complete. A few rookies will take their talents to the Playoffs and make an impact, but this is a regular season award. This was a year where the No. 1 pick and No. 60 picks both finished the season as starters and had major impacts.

For the actual ROY the winner was pretty cut-and-dry for about two months, but the way the rest of the rookies played was rather surprising. This final list will feature three rookie teams and the last rankings for the season (Top 15) as well as the Rookie of the Year.

Rookie of the Month, by Month:

December Rookie of the Month: MarShon Brooks – 15.3 PPG 3.0 RPG 1.3 APG .50 SPG 21.3 MPG 1-3 W/L

January Rookie of the Month: Kyrie Irving – 18.9 PPG 3.2 RPG 4.7 APG .65 SPG 29.2 MPG 7-10 W/L

February Rookie of the Month: Kyrie Irving – 19.3 PPG 3.8 RPG 5.6 APG 1.0 SPG 35.6 MPG 5-8 W/L

March Rookie of the Month: Kenneth Faried – 11.6 PPG 9.1 RPG 1.2 APG 1.14 BPG 26.8 MPG 10-4 W/L

ALL-ROOKIE FIRST TEAM:

———————————————————————————————————-

THE 2011-2012 NBA ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

PG       Kyrie Irving – Cleveland Cavaliers Point Guard

2011 No. 1 Overall pick

Final Rookie Rankings: No. 1

PPG

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

AJFG%

MPG

W/L

18.5

3.7

5.4

0.39

1.06

51.7

30.5

Lottery

1st

17th

2nd

20th

7th

14th

3rd

17 & 34

 

The Cavaliers started the tank job and went from playoff contender to potentially a candidate for a Top 3 pick again this year. A lot of that is due to Irving missing games due to injury. All season Irving has been head and shoulders above the competition for Rookie of the Year.

PG       Brandon Knight – Detroit Pistons Point Guard

2011 No. 8 Overall pick

Final Rookie Rankings: No. 2

PPG

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

AJFG%

MPG

W/L

12.8

3.2

3.8

0.15

0.74

48.30%

32.3

Lottery

2nd

t-24th

5th

45th

t-16th

26th

2nd

25 & 41

 

Looking at the season as a whole Knight was one of the standout players in the rookie class. He was able to lead this team just two years out of high school showing that the Pistons have a bright future. Knight has work to do as a defender, but he is a relentless worker that will get better.

SG       Klay Thompson – Golden State Warriors Shooting Guard

2011 No. 11 Overall pick

Final Rookie Rankings: No. 6

PPG

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

AJFG%

MPG

W/L

12.5

2.4

2

0.3

0.74

52.00%

24.4

Lottery

4th

t-33rd

t-12th

t-28th

t-16th

13th

10th

23 & 43

 

Once the Warriors decided the future is now they gave major minutes to three rookies led by Thompson. Offensively he was able to spread his wings and grow on the court into more than just a great shooter. Over the course of the season Thompson proved to be a good play-maker and overall weapon on offense.

 

SF       Chandler Parsons – Houston Rockets Forward

2011 No. 38 Overall pick

Final Rookie Rankings: No. 5

PPG

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

AJFG%

MPG

W/L

9.5

4.8

2.1

0.46

1.16

50.60%

28.6

Lottery

10th

t-7th

10th

17th

5th

21st

7th

33 & 30

 

No other rookie was in the Top 10 this season in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and minutes like Parsons was. When he was inserted into the starting line-up the Rockets soared into Playoff contention. The second round pick proved to be a more valuable asset than the teams two first round picks.

PF       Kenneth Faried – Denver Nuggets Power Forward

2011 No. 22 Overall pick

Final Rookie Rankings: No. 4

PPG

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

AJFG%

MPG

W/L

10.2

7.7

0.8

1.02

0.74

58.60%

22.5

Playoffs

8th

1st

t-41st

4th

t-16th

3rd

14th

27 & 19

 

The definition of “high motor” has a picture of Kenneth Faried next to it. All season Faried used his constant attacking mentality to dominate on the glass and defensively. He was looked at as too small for the NBA and too limited skillwise to ever have an impact at this level. As the starting power forward of the Nuggets he has helped in a major way lead the team to the Playoffs.

ALL-ROOKIE SECOND TEAM:

PG       Ricky Rubio – Minnesota Timberwolves Point Guard ***Injured and out for the year***

2009 No. 5 Overall pick

Final Rookie Rankings: No. 3

PPG

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

AJFG%

MPG

W/L

10.6

4.2

8.2

0.2

2.2

39.80%

34.2

Lottery

7th

t-12th

1st

41st

1st

57th

1st

21 & 20

 

Rubio will be out for the year. His impact was felt as no rookie was able to catch his season total in assists and he left his Timberwolves above .500 with hope. In 41 games Rubio finished with 336 assists (47 more than second) and 91 steals (10 less than first) which is astounding considering he played only two-thirds of the season. Because of his injury Rubio is the leader of the second team out of respect for the four other rookies that played the full season.

PG       Isaiah Thomas – Sacramento Kings Point Guard

2011 No. 60 Overall pick

Final Rookie Rankings: No. 7

PPG

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

AJFG%

MPG

W/L

11.5

2.6

4.1

0.12

0.82

52.10%

25.5

Lottery

6th

t-28th

4th

50th

14th

12th

9th

22 & 43

 

The story of the 2011 NBA Draft became Mr. Irrelevant – pick 60 – become the starting point guard of the Kings after they drafted a point guard with a Top 10 pick. His work ethic and play in practice earned him playing time early in the season. Thomas finished the season as the starting point guard with the young Kings playing very well and gaining momentum into next year.

PG       Iman Shumpert – New York Knicks Point Guard

2011 No. 17 Overall pick

Final Rookie Rankings: No. 9

PPG

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

AJFG%

MPG

W/L

9.5

3.2

2.8

0.14

1.71

44.60%

28.9

Playoffs

9th

t-24th

8th

47th

2nd

43rd

6th

34 & 25

 

Shumpert was the perfect fit in New York for none of the reasons they drafted him. As a point guard Shumpert struggled, but as a defender and off guard he flourished. Already Shumpert is considered one of the best perimeter defenders in the entire NBA as a rookie and scored within the offense to take pressure off of the teams stars.

 

SG       Mar’Shon Brooks – New Jersey Nets Shooting Guard

2011 No. 25 Overall pick

Final Rookie Rankings: No. 8

PPG

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

AJFG%

MPG

W/L

12.6

3.6

2.3

0.27

0.93

46.50%

29.4

Lottery

3rd

t-18th

9th

t-31st

12th

32nd

5th

18 & 38

 

Brooks fit in perfectly as a compliment scorer to All-Star Deron Williams. He shot the ball well all season giving Brooklyn signs of a bright future.

PF       Tristan Thompson – Cleveland Cavaliers Power Forward

2011 No. 4 Overall pick

Final Rookie Rankings: No. 10

PPG

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

AJFG%

MPG

W/L

8.2

6.5

0.5

1.03

0.45

43.90%

23.7

Lottery

12th

2nd

t-48th

3rd

t-32nd

45th

12th

18 & 42

 

Thompson proved his value as the No. 4 overall pick with great defensive play and rebounding all season. His awful free-throw shooting early in the season really lowered his overall shooting numbers, but Thompson got better as the season progressed.

ALL-ROOKIE THIRD TEAM:

PG       Kemba Walker – Charlotte Bobcats Point Guard

2011 No. 9 Overall pick

Final Rookie Rankings: 11

PPG

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

AJFG%

MPG

W/L

12.1

3.5

4.4

0.3

0.91

41.10%

27.2

Lottery

5th

t-20th

3rd

t-28th

13th

52nd

8th

7 & 59

 

From the National Championship to the worst team winning percentage in NBA History, yeah, Walker has had a rough transition. All the things that make Walker a special perimeter player he did well as he got comfortable with the league. It is unclear whether he can be a franchise point guard at this point.

SF       Kawhi Leonard – San Antonio Spurs Small Forward

2011 No. 15 Overall pick

Final Rookie Rankings: 12

PPG

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

AJFG%

MPG

W/L

7.9

5.1

1.1

0.38

1.33

54.30%

24

Playoffs

13th

5th

t-31st

22nd

3rd

8th

11th

49 & 15

 

With his length and energy Leonard cracked the Spurs rotation and became an important factor in them finishing with the Western Conferences top seed.

PF       Markieff Morris – Phoenix Suns Power Forward

2011 No. 13 Overall pick

Final Rookie Rankings: 13

PPG

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

AJFG%

MPG

W/L

7.4

4.4

1

0.67

0.65

44.80%

19.5

Lottery

16th

10th

t-34th

t-7th

t-22nd

41st

21st

31 & 32

 

It was a tough second half of the season for Morris after he began with such promise. The stretch-four has the potential to be the future at power forward for the Suns.

C         Bismack Biyombo – Charlotte Bobcats Center

2011 No. 7 Overall pick

Final Rookie Rankings: 14

PPG

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

AJFG%

MPG

W/L

5.2

5.8

0.4

1.83

0.32

46.40%

23.1

Lottery

26th

3rd

t-56th

1st

t-47th

33rd

13th

7 & 56

 

Biyombo was another part of the historic Bobcats season. His defensive abilities were not muffled though as he was one of the top shot-blockers in the NBA all year.

C         Nikola Vucevic – Philadelphia 76ers Center

2011 No. 16 Overall pick

Final Rookie Rankings: 15

PPG

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

AJFG%

MPG

W/L

5.5

4.8

0.6

0.67

0.39

45.50%

15.9

Playoffs

23rd

t-7th

t-45th

t-7th

t-39th

35th

29th

26-25

 

Once Vucevic got healthy and became a part of the rotation the 76ers had more depth and stability at the center position. He has the ability to step out and make jump shots as well defend the paint.

 

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

 

Gustavo Ayon, Derrick Williams, Charles Jenkins, Ivan Johnson, Chris Singleton, Greg Stiemsma, Jan Vesely, Josh Harrellson, and Jimmer Fredette.