Rookie Impact: Golden State’s Success Hinges on Barnes, Green, and Ezeli

It’s difficult to ask for a rookie to help carry an NBA team in the postseason. Yet instead of just one rookie, Golden State will need the help of three.

The Warriors' rookies played big the other night; now it's time for them to take over (www.nba.com)

The Warriors’ rookies played big the other night; now it’s time for them to take over (www.nba.com)

Harrison Barnes, the 7th overall draft pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, along with Draymond Green (35th overall) and Festus Ezeli (30th overall) will be expected to contribute beyond their years if the Warriors hope to advance past their Conference Semifinal matchup with the well experienced San Antonio Spurs.

Aside from the Zen-like sorcery-type comeback that the Spurs pulled off in Game 1 (where they came back from a double-digit deficit to win 129-127 in double overtime), the rookies seem more than up for the task at hand.

Barnes finished Game 1 with an impressive Continue reading

Rookie Impact: Barnes Fills Void, Helps Warriors Tie Series

Dubs rookie Harrison Barnes stepped up in David Lee's abscence, but he'll have to keep it going. (cleveland.com)

Dubs rookie Harrison Barnes stepped up in David Lee’s abscence, but he’ll have to keep it going. (cleveland.com)

When Warriors forward David Lee went down with a torn right hip flexor Saturday night in Golden State’s first playoff game of the postseason against the Denver Nuggets, many was unknown about the Dubs immediate future.Would David Lee be able to return? And if not, who would step up to fill the void he left behind?Answers to both of those questions now seem pretty obvious.

Harrison Barnes played a huge role in helping Golden State to Continue reading

Harrison Barnes: In His Own Words

For quite awhile now, we here at NBA Rookie Class have tried to secure an interview with some of your favorite NBA rookies in the hopes of getting them to share some of their early career experiences with you, the readers.

Unfortunately, we don’t have enough pull yet to land ourselves that breakthrough interview.  Thankfully, though, our good friends over at Sound Cloud have!

Harrison Barnes has had an enjoyable start to his career throughout his young rookie season.(goldenstateofmind.com)

Harrison Barnes has had an enjoyable start to his career throughout his young rookie season.
(goldenstateofmind.com)

With that in mind, we bring you a recent interview with Golden State Warriors’ rookie Harrison Barnes.  Barnes has been enjoying a solid start to his career, having already recorded three double-doubles and career highs of 20 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks.  Barnes also had himself the posterizing play of the month of November.

In his interview, Barnes talks about his ferocious slam, playing alongside of fellow rookies Festus Ezeli and Draymond Green, and much more.

Rookie Impact: Davis makes his debut, Beal shines amid loss

Yesterday was the first taste of many for the incoming rookie class.  The top three draft picks all saw playing time, and faced much more serious competition than they’ve previously seen in college and the Summer League.  Here’s a breakdown of the rookies’ performances from yesterday’s games:

Boston Celtics 105 — Emporio Armani Milano 75
Washington Wizards 88 — Charlotte Bobcats 100
Miami Heat 79 — Atlanta Hawks 92
Orlando Magic 80 — New Orleans Hornets 85
Golden State Warriors 110 — Los Angeles Lakers 83

Boston Celtics 105 — Emporio Armani Milano 75

All four Celtics rookies saw action against their European opponent yesterday.  Jared Sullinger, who got the start, led the way with 9 points, 7 rebounds, and 1 block in 18 minutes of play, as he tries to work his way into a permanent role as a starter.  Kris Joseph and Fab Melo only scored a combined 2 points in 12 minutes, as the starters and other bench players ahead of them on the depth chart (i.e., Jeff Green and Darko Milicic) had much more productive afternoons, giving the rooks little time to show their stuff.  Also, super-rookie Dionte Christmas saw some solid action coming off of the end of the C’s very deep bench; he recorded 9 points and 4 rebounds in only nine minutes of play.

Washington Wizards 88 — Charlotte Bobcats 100

Charlotte’s second overall pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist squared off against third overall pick Bradley Beal’s Wizards, with the upstart Cats getting the win, thanks in part to MKG’s effort on the defensive end.  This steal led to an easy two points, en route to Kidd-Gilchrist finishing the day with 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals.  Fellow rookie Jeffrey Taylor scored a single point in a mere two minutes of action.  Beal, however, had the most impressive numbers on the day, as he led all scorers with 18 points off of the bench.

Miami Heat 79 — Atlanta Hawks 92

The returning champion Heat feature no incoming rookies on this years roster, and all those on the Hawks roster were healthy scratches in yesterday’s lineup.  First round pick John Jenkins, second round pick Mike Scott, and super-rookie Keith Benson all observed yesterdays matchup, in what one assumes is a ploy by head coach Larry Drew to have the players watch and learn before hitting the hardwood.

Orlando Magic 80 — New Orleans Hornets 85

First overall pick Anthony Davis made his preseason debut with 8 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks in 23 minutes as a starter as he and fellow rookie Austin Rivers (10 points, 1 assist) helped contribute to a late comback by NO.  Darius Miller also added 5 efficient points off the bench in a quick eight minutes of work.  The Magic’s incoming rookies Andrew Nicholson and Kyle O’Quinn didn’t experience as much success, as the two combined for 4 points off the bench in 24 minutes of work.  Fifteenth overall pick Maurice Harkless (received in the Dwight Howard trade) is recovering from a sports hernia and did not play.

Golden State Warriors 110 — Los Angeles Lakers 83

Two of Golden State’s three rookies played high-efficiency games in the teams win over the Dwight-less Lakers.  Festus Ezeli recorded 6 points, 4 rebounds, 1 block and a plus/minus of (+20) on the day, while Harrison Barnes scored 13 points off the bench and finished with a plus/minus of (+22).  The Warriors’ other rookie Draymond Green sat out the game with left knee inflamation.  In Dwight’s place, the 2012 Draft’s Mr. Irrelevant Robert Sacre got the start in Superman’s place and finished the day with 6 points and 4 rebounds, but also 4 fouls in only 18 minutes.  Sacre did, however, score off a beautiful highlight reel pass from Steve Nash.  Other Lakers rookie Darius Johnson-Odom played a brief six minutes, recording only 2 points.