Rookie Recap: Pablo Prigioni Helps New York Knicks Rout Indiana Pacers

Don't Laugh.  Prigioni may not be the youngest rookie, but he's played great lately. (latino.foxnews.com)

Don’t Laugh. Prigioni may not be the youngest rookie, but he’s played great lately. (latino.foxnews.com)

While most will look to Carmelo Anthony’s efficient all-around performance from Tuesday night’s mauling of the Indiana Pacers, many others will need to look past the “Top Performers” to see where the focus at NBA Rookie Class lies.

Pablo Prigioni, the 36-year-old undrafted rookie from Argentina, had quite the night for the New York Knicks, as he scored 10 points (4-4 FG, 2-2 3PT), grabbed 4 rebounds, dished out 4 assists, and didn’t Continue reading

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Damian Lillard Named 2012-2013 NBA Rookie of the Year

As many expected through much of the season, Damian Lillard was named the 2012-2013 NBA Rookie of the Year earlier today.

Damian Lillard finished "Number One" in Rookie of the Year voting, after an impressive first season in Portland. (nba.si.com)

Damian Lillard finished “Number One” in Rookie of the Year voting, after an impressive first season in Portland. (nba.si.com)

Lillard who averaged 19.0 ppg, 6.5 apg, and 38.6 mpg in 82 games started (all of which ranked first among rookies for this season) helped the Portland Trail Blazers to a 33-49 record. Even though the Blazers failed to make the playoffs, they increased their win total from last season by five victories.

After a very strong Summer League performance, Lillard became this year’s front-runner for the honor after his very first game in the league; in Portland’s season opening 116-106 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, Lillard recorded 23 points and a game-high 11 assists. Lillard was also 8 of 8 from the free-throw line.

From that impressive first showing and win, Lillard had a stranglehold on the award race and never let up. Lillard swept the Kia Rookie of the Month honors for the Western Conference for the Continue reading

Rookie Recap: New York Knicks’ Chris Copeland, Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard Awarded Kia’s Rookies of the Month

Copeland joined Jamario Moon, Ivan Johnson, and Jeremy Lin as undrafted rookies to receive Kia's monthly honor. (knicks.lohudblogs.com)

Copeland joined Jamario Moon, Ivan Johnson, and Jeremy Lin as undrafted rookies to receive Kia’s monthly honor. (knicks.lohudblogs.com)

The two most outstanding rookies of April –and possibly the two biggest surprises of the 2012 NBA Draft –were awarded the Kia Rookie of the Month Award on Friday. The winners, Chris Copeland of the New York Knicks and Eastern Conference recipient and Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers and Western Conference recipient, were by far the most dominant rookies of the month of April. Both players posted multiple career-highs during the month (Copeland for points and minutes played, and Lillard for points and blocks) and gained plenty of experience that should carry over into next season.

Copeland, an undrafted rookie from Colorado who’s traveled far and wide to make it to the NBA, was not expected to deliver much off the bench when the season began; however, due to a combination of timely shooting, injuries, and sudden retirements, Copeland has made his presence in New York felt, and should be a key contributor for the Knicks in their first-round playoff matchup with the Boston Celtics. Continue reading

Rookie Recap: Oklahoma City Thunder’s Jeremy Lamb, Perry Jones III Reassigned

Despite strong performances in their season finales, both Lamb and Jones III have been reassigned to Tulsa (thelostogle.com)

Despite strong performances in their season finales, both Lamb and Jones III have been reassigned to Tulsa (thelostogle.com)

After career games in the season finale against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night, Oklahoma City’s rookies Jeremy Lamb and Perry Jones III found themselves in transit to Tulsa for the first round of the D-League Playoffs, as the 66ers take on the Rio Grande Vipers.  While it’s unfortunate that the rooks won’t be in attendance for OKC’s first round matchup with the Houston Rockets -where they could have witnessed the playoffs first hand and possibly play some off the bench -it will be better for both players to gain some postseason experience, regardless of the level of competition. Continue reading

NBA Regular Season Finale Recap: Lillard Leads Surge, Copeland, Henson, and Moultrie All Deliver

For many basketball fans, yesterday seemed most likely seemed like the end of a long and trying journey. Fourteen teams now ready themselves for May 21st, when they hope that they can call themselves winners in one of the wackiest annual games of ping-pong known to mankind; sixteen more will continue to battle for league supremacy and the NBA Championship.

Damian Lillard has impressed the entire year, and didn't let up in the season finale. (bleacherreport.com)

Damian Lillard has impressed the entire year, and didn’t let up in the season finale. (bleacherreport.com)

Meanwhile, here at NBA Rookie Class, our season is neither ending nor our postseason beginning; instead, we’re simply savoring the continued excellence of so much new talent in the league, and the bright future so many individuals have –whether they are playing for a ring or not.Yesterday’s regular season finale offered the average viewer minimal opportunities to watch their team’s stars play, as many squads took the time to let their veterans rest. And while the veterans are away, the rookies will come to play. Continue reading

Rookie Recap: Trail Blazers’ Future On Display, John Jenkins Struggles

By now, most franchises have a general understanding of whether or not their team has made the playoffs (unless you’re Utah –which always seems to have every game and season decided in the 11th hour –and Los Angeles –which has a flair for the dramatics).

For some, it is a time to rest the stars and let the kids go out and play, as was the case for the Atlanta Hawks last night. Continue reading