NBA Draft Prospect Profile: Michael Carter-Williams

Michael Carter-Williams hopes to be taken among the top 15 picks (www.huffingtonpost.com)

Michael Carter-Williams hopes to be taken among the top 15 picks (www.huffingtonpost.com)

Having a well-rounded, 6’6″ point guard could really help any team, and that’s exactly what Syracuse point man Michael Carter-Williams is bringing to the table. Utilizing his game that consists of a nice combination of tempo control, passing, handles, leadership, and intellect, MCW is a tempting option looking forward to draft day. The only problem is, many of the teams with top picks already have their point guard position filled with names like 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

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

Conclusion of NBA Regular Season Provides Opportunities for Rookies

Houston's Terrence Jones drives against Detroit's Greg Monroe.  Jones has played well as of late, which could lead to more playing time in the postseason (kentuckysportsradio.com)

Houston’s Terrence Jones drives against Detroit’s Greg Monroe. Jones has played well as of late, which could lead to more playing time in the postseason (kentuckysportsradio.com)

The National Basketball Association is days away from concluding its regular season in fine fashion, with plenty still left to play for in these final hours. Teams are still jockeying for position in the postseason field, the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz are still both desperately trying to make the postseason, and the Orlando Magic and Charlotte Bobcats will be duking it out (in separate games) to see who claims the title of Most Futile Franchise for the 2012-2013 season.

With so much taking place in the seasons’ final days, it’s easy to forget that there is still plenty more at stake for the NBA’s rookies. Continue reading

NBA All-Star Weekend: Rookies Take Home Skills Challenge and Slam Dunk Contest Victories

The Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard continued to add to his impressive rookie campaign by winning the Skills Challenge on All-Star Saturday in Houston. (nba.com)

The Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard continued to add to his impressive rookie campaign by winning the Skills Challenge on All-Star Saturday in Houston. (nba.com)

It’s been quite the All-Star Weekend for our NBA rookies.  After an impressive Friday night of BBVA action, the League’s newst talent took center stage during Saturday night’s line-up of events.

Out of the four events that took place in Houston last night (Shooting Stars Challenge, Skills Challenge, Three-Point Shootout, and the Dunk Contest), two of the events were won by rookies. Continue reading