NBA Rookie Round Up: Jalen Green, Evan Mobley, Scottie Barnes and Chris Duarte shine bright

Asia's Tech News Daily

The 2021 NBA Draft class was renowned for its potential superstar talent in players like Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Evan Mobley, Scottie Barnes and Jalen Suggs, to name a few.

We saw most of the rookies make their first splash during NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, and again in the 2021 NBA preseason. But with exhibition games behind us and the 2021-22 regular season upon us, we’ve finally had the chance to see what most of the first-year players could be capable of during their inaugural campaign.

There are a few exceptions, of course, with the biggest one being the absence of No. 1 overall pick Cunningham, who has yet to make his NBA debut for the Detroit Pistons due to an ankle injury suffered during training camp. The latest suggests that Cunningham could return as soon as Saturday, Oct. 30 when the Pistons return home from their road trip, but that has not been finalized.

MORE: Cade Cunningham injury update: When will the No. 1 pick make his debut?

Another rookie who has yet to take the floor this regular season is No. 7 overall pick Jonathan Kuminga, who suffered a strained right patella tendon during the Golden State Warriors preseason. He has been cleared for full contact practice and is expected to be re-evaluated on Friday, Oct. 29, meaning his return could also be on the horizon.

As for rookies who have played, who has shined the brightest through the first week-plus of the new season?

NBA League Pass: Sign up to unlock live out-of-market games (7-day free trial)

2021 NBA Rookie Round Up

Jalen Green, Houston Rockets

Since we can’t begin with the No. 1 pick, let’s go with the No. 2 pick.

Green got out to a slow start to his NBA career, only scoring nine points in each of his first two games. He shot 32.0 percent from the field and 18.2 percent from 3, failing to get many easy looks.

In his third game, we caught a glimpse of the prolific scorer Green was hyped up to be prior to the 2021 NBA Draft. The G League Ignite product exploded against the Boston Celtics, pouring in his first NBA 30-point game by way of knocking down eight 3-pointers on 10 attempts. He got cooking early, burying six 3s by halftime, going shot-for-shot with All-Star forward Jayson Tatum.

In the second half, the 19-year-old gave us a taste of his elite shot creation skills…

…and his electrifying leaping ability.

Green’s 14.5 points per game ranks third among the rookie class and as he continues to get comfortable on an NBA floor, be on the lookout for more high-scoring performances and SportsCenter Top 10-worthy highlights.

Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers

On to the No. 3 pick – Mobley has been even better than advertised.

The 7-footer already debunked any questions surrounding his fit alongside another franchise corner in Jarrett Allen, playing power forward effectively to form a promising, young frontcourt tandem.

It was known that Mobley would be a quality rim protector and help-side defender around the paint, but it was his footwork and versatility that set him apart from other bigs, praised to be able to hold his own on the perimeter. It took all of three games for that to come to fruition, locking down All-Star guard Trae Young when left on an island off of a switch.

It has only been four games, but Mobley is the only rookie to rank in the top-five in the five major counting stats among his draft classmates: points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. Averaging 13.8 points, 8.6 rebounds (1st), 2.2 assists (7th), 1.2 steals (3rd) and 2.0 blocks (1st) per game to go with 72 contested shots (!) — the 20-year-old looks like a jack-of-all-trades.

His 17-point, nine-rebound, six-assist debut was impressive enough, but he already outdid himself with his first-career double-double of 17 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks and two steals to boot.

If the season ended today, Mobley would be your Rookie of the Year. Only 78 more games to go.

Scottie Barnes, Toronto Raptors

Barnes was inserted into the Raptors starting lineup from Day 1 while Pascal Siakam continues his shoulder rehabilitation, but it’s going to be tough for head coach Nick Nurse to remove the No. 4 pick from his spot upon the All-Star forward’s return.

Barnes is already impact games with his infectious energy and defensive prowess, and he’s looking even more aggressive offensively than we ever saw during his one season at Florida State.

He has scored double figures in every game so far, as his 17.0 points per game ranks second among the rookie class. His breakout 25-point game against the Celtics was a sight to see, as the 20-year-old flashed quick improvement on his biggest perceived weakness – his jumpshot.

He’s only shooting 1-for-6 from 3, but showing the confidence and willingness to take outside shots bodes well for his future in that area. He’s dominated the glass – his 8.2 rebounds per game leads the rookie class – and he’s done a ton of damage by creating second-chance points, corralling 17 offensive rebounds (tied with Robert Williams III for fifth-most in the league).

As it stands so far, it looks like the Raptors did just fine for themselves in going with Barnes at No. 4.

Jalen Suggs, Orlando Magic

No. 5 overall pick Suggs hasn’t had the start to his rookie campaign that most would have thought.

The expectation was that the Magic would hand the keys to the franchise and the team’s offence over to Suggs, but that hasn’t exactly been the case. He’s started in all four of his appearances, but with the emergence of last year’s No. 15 overall pick Cole Anthony, Suggs has been forced to share the spotlight.

The Gonzaga product went a combined 10-for-40 (25.0%) from the field and 2-for-15 (13.3%) in his first three games, but he did tally eight assists in one of those contests. He started to look more comfortable in his fourth game, going for 15 points on 4-of-8 shooting from 3, but there are still some growing pains to be worked through as he tries to navigate ball handling duties alongside Anthony and another second-year guard in RJ Hampton.

The best is surely still yet to come for Suggs, who will continue to see plenty of opportunity as Orlando looks toward the future as a rebuilding team.

Josh Giddey, Oklahoma City Thunder

Through the first week-plus, Giddey looks like a player who already has one professional season under his belt.

After winning Rookie of the Year in the NBL last season, the Australian guard has been calm, cool and collected, stating his case as the best passer in his draft class. Averaging a rookie-leading 5.6 assists per game, he has started in all five games for the Thunder, taking over as the team’s floor general.

In their comeback win over the Lakers, Giddey became the third-youngest player to ever record 10 assists in an NBA game, trailing only LeBron James in the record books.

Even with minimal established talent around him, Giddey has found a way to elevate his teammates. The connection with franchise cornerstone Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is beginning to develop, with plays like the one below being a taste of things to come for Oklahoma City’s future.

Gilgeous-Alexander will be the biggest beneficiary of playing alongside a playmaker of Giddey’s caliber, but he’s done a strong job getting everyone involved. This skip pass to Darius Bazley is a thing of beauty, even appearing to catch his teammate and roll-man Derrick Favors by surprise.

(For what it’s worth, Bazley probably should have just shot the corner 3, but hats off to him for finishing at the rim so Giddey still earned the assist).

That game against the 76ers was Giddey’s best in the NBA so far, going for 19 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and four steals. He’s proved his strengths as a passer and rebounder – averaging 6.2 boards per game – but his scoring is still a work-in-progress, only scoring double figures twice.

Nonetheless, it has been an encouraging start to the No. 6 pick’s rookie season. 

Davion Mitchell, Sacramento Kings

They call him “Off Night” for a reason.

Mitchell put the league on notice when he won co-Summer League MVP and although his offensive game is coming along slowly, he has already established himself as a terrorizing on-ball defender.

The No. 9 overall pick has drawn some of the toughest assignments the NBA has to offer, marking All-Stars like Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard and Donovan Mitchell.

According to NBA stats, he held Lillard to just four points on 1-of-7 shooting from the field in 19.1 partial possessions and he held Mitchell to six points on 2-of-6 shooting from the field in 20.1 partial possessions. He also forced Mitchell to turn the ball over twice, one of which was as tenacious of a defensive clip you can find.

Give me that.

It speaks volumes that Mitchell can already be trusted up against superstars like the aforementioned trio and it will be remarkable to watch him match up against some of the league’s best perimeter scorers as his rookie season goes on.

Chris Duarte, Indiana Pacers

Duarte wasn’t a household name like most of the others on this list heading into the 2021-22 season, but he had by far the best debut out of anyone in his rookie class.

Cracking the starting lineup for the Pacers, Duarte made the most of his opportunity by going off for 27 points on six 3-pointers in an overtime loss to the Charlotte Hornets. Without Duarte’s efforts, Indiana may not have even reached OT.

The Sporting News’ Micah Adams put the rookie’s first game into perspective, stating that only 12 players in history scored more points than Duarte’s 27 in their NBA debut.

And the Oregon product hasn’t cooled off much since then.

phew 😳@C_Duarte5 | #GoldBlooded pic.twitter.com/l5j1YM3MXg

— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) October 26, 2021

Duarte has solidified his spot in Indiana’s starting lineup, averaging a rookie class-leading 18.6 points to go with 4.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. He’s shooting a blistering 41.7 percent from 3, wasting no time to live up to his 3-and-D expectations.

At 24-years-old, Duarte was the oldest player in the 2021 NBA Draft. The Pacers took a swing on a player who could make an immediate impact with the No. 13 pick and so far, it has paid off.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Sir Frederick Barclay's ex-wife asks judge to commit him to jail in money fight

Businessman Sir Frederick Barclay’s ex-wife has asked a judge to commit him to prison after alleging that he breached orders made in a High Court fight over money. Lady Hiroko ... Read more »

Philanthropist Jacqueline Avant helped unite the worlds of Black politics and entertainment

Jacqueline Avant, shown with husband Clarence Avant in 2020, was known as a quiet force who helped unite powerful figures from the worlds of sports, entertainment and politics, usually to ... Read more »

Households should pay higher tax on gas to reflect cost of climate change, say government advisers

The Climate Change Committee said the Government is effectively subsidising the cost of fossil fuel heating and should make it more expensive to reflect the costs of climate change Gas ... Read more »

Tyler Perry vows to use ‘every available resource' to find Jacqueline Avant's killer

Perry tweeted several photos of the Avants and wrote: “My heart breaks for Clarence and Nicole and all the Avant family.” Film and television producer Tyler Perry is joining the ... Read more »

Sick mum blamed DOG for nine-year-old daughter's rape ordeal & got pet ‘ARRESTED' to ‘hide partner's crime'

A SICK mum blamed her family’s DOG after her nine-year-old daughter was raped – and got the pet ‘ARRESTED’. The dog was reportedly seized in Tláhuac, Mexico, after the child ... Read more »

Chaotic moment wild brawl breaks out at hip hop gig with two men thrown to the floor and repeatedly kicked

THIS is the moment a hip hop gig descends into chaos as fans punch and kick each other. Two men are thrown to the floor and repeatedly kicked in the ... Read more »

The Benedict Cumberbatch Western Drama That Stole Netflix's Number 1 Spot

Netflix Western films have maintained a special place in Hollywood for over a century, kicking off with the release of “The Great Train Robbery” in 1903. The genre uses an often ... Read more »

Ministers criticised over ‘mixed messages' on booster vaccine eligibility

A dose of the Pfizer booster jab is prepared (PA) (PA Wire) “Mixed messages” over booster vaccine eligibility are leaving the public “frustrated and confused”, it has been suggested. New ... Read more »

Boris Johnson is no clown and this is not a circus

Photograph: Alastair Grant/PA Emmanuel Macron’s description of Boris Johnson (Macron privately called Boris Johnson a ‘clown’, says French magazine, 2 December) is grossly insulting to clowns. They are engaged in ... Read more »

Florida COVID update: 2,096 new cases added to state tally

Florida reported 2,096 COVID-19 cases and no new deaths on Tuesday, according to Wednesday’s report to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based on Miami Herald calculations of CDC ... Read more »

COVID-19 in Wisconsin: 4,534 new cases

State health officials reported at least 4,534 new positive COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin on Wednesday. Read more »

More issues than medicines need addressing in Brexit protocol – Donaldson

There are more issues with the Northern Ireland Protocol than the supply of medicines, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has said. The DUP leader was speaking after European Commission vice president Maros ... Read more »

‘What Would You Do?': Grand Jury Clears Virginia Beach Officer Who Shot and Killed Pharrell Williams' Cousin, Outraged Activist Says Lynch Was Licensed Gun Owner Protecting Himself

A special grand jury in Virginia Beach has found “no probable cause” to charge a local police officer with the killing of singer Pharrell Williams’ 25-year-old cousin. Despite not having ... Read more »

U.S. Department of Justice will not pursue civil rights charges in death of Everett Palmer Jr.

The U.S. Department of Justice has determined that there is insufficient evidence to pursue civil rights charges in the case of Everett Palmer Jr., a U.S. Army veteran whose death ... Read more »

Music business legend Clarence Avant's wife Jacqueline Avant shot dead in home invasion

Jacqueline and Clarence Avant attend the premiere of a Netflix documentary about Mr Avant’s life on 3 June, 2019 (AFP/Getty) Jacqueline Avant, the wife of legendary music industry boss Clarence ... Read more »

Factbox-What COVID-19 vaccine and drug makers have to say about Omicron

FILE PHOTO: Vials labelled “Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine” are seen in this illustration picture (Reuters) – The Omicron variant of the coronavirus has sparked fears ... Read more »

'Unfathomable' slaying of Jacqueline Avant stuns Hollywood and political world

Jacqueline Avant and Clarence Avant attend a pre-Grammy gala on Jan. 25, 2020, in Beverly Hills. (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for the Recording Academy) The shooting death of Jacqueline Avant ... Read more »

My husband slept with my best friend and blamed my low sex drive – we have 4 kids and it happened during 3 pregnancies

A WOMAN found out that her husband slept with her best friend on-and-off for years when she was pregnant with their four kids – and he blamed her low sex ... Read more »

Dramatic bodycam shows killer mum's crocodile tears as she tries to claim Arthur BEAT HER & caused his own injuries

DRAMATIC bodycam shows a monster mum's crocodile tears as she tried blaming her six-year-old stepson for his horrific fatal injuries. Shameless Emma Tustin, 32, can be seen fake crying as ... Read more »

People vow to boycott McDonald's for life after ‘disgraceful' behaviour of staff

FAST food fans have vowed to boycott McDonald’s for life after staff's “disgraceful behaviour” towards a homeless man. The shocking incident took place at the chain’s restaurant on Great Homer ... Read more »

Dozens of Michigan schools cancel classes after deadly Oxford High shooting

Dozens of jittery Michigan school districts are canceling classes or sending students home early amid “fear and anxiety” stemming from the deadly Oxford High School shooting. Authorities in southwest Michigan ... Read more »

Ghislaine Maxwell trial: Live updates from Day 4

REUTERS Follow the New York Post’s live coverage for the trial of alleged Jeffrey Epstein madam Ghislaine Maxwell, which began this week in Manhattan Federal Court. What you need to ... Read more »

Omarion is here for those Omicron variant memes: 'There is nothing more healing than music or a good laugh'

Omarion has a mad meme game — and a great sense of humor. In October, the “Ice Box” singer went viral after dancing to a TikTok challenge made in his ... Read more »

Investigators detail MS-13 wiretap operations in Santa Maria's Matador trial

Dec. 2—Two detectives assigned to investigate 10 alleged MS-13 killings across the Santa Maria Valley from 2013 to 2016 testified in court Wednesday about their wiretap operations, which ultimately set ... Read more »

Election workers sue conservative site over fraud claims

FILE – Fulton County employee Shaye Moss scans mail-in paper ballots at the Georgia World Congress Center during the Georgia primary elections in Atlanta on Tuesday, June 9, 2020. Two ... Read more »

Omicron scare: Night curfew in Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu till Dec 31

A night curfew has been imposed in the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of coronavirus in ... Read more »

INSACOG has sequenced over 1.02 lakh SARS-CoV-2 genomes till Nov 25: Govt

The Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) has sequenced 1,02,880 genomes of the virus, the science and technology ministry said on Thursday. Responding to a question in Rajya Sabha, Minister of ... Read more »

Sad we didn't stop flights from affected nations: CM Arvind Kejriwal over Omicron detection in India

Following the detection of the first two cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus in India, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said it was sad that international flights ... Read more »

Cumulative COVID-19 vaccine doses administered cross 92.60 crore

The cumulative COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country crossed 92.60 crore on Wednesday, the Union Health Ministry said. More than 40 lakh vaccine doses were administered on Wednesday till ... Read more »

Maxwell jurors hear expert testimony about sexual predators

1 / 3Jeffrey Epstein Maxwell TrialIn this courtroom sketch, Ghislaine Maxwell is seated at the defense table while watching testimony of witnesses during her trial, Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, in ... Read more »

K'taka CM to chair high-level meeting on Friday to discuss 'Omicron' variant

With two cases of the new Omicron variant of coronavirus detected in Karnataka, Chief Minister Basavaraj S Bommai on Thursday said he will discuss the matter in a high-level meeting ... Read more »

Ask an expert virologist anything about the Covid omicron variant which has arrived in the UK

(AFP via Getty Images) The country is currently bracing itself for the coming weeks as the omicron variant could see a surge in new Covid-19 infections across Britain even bigger ... Read more »

Parkland student arrested after threats found against Stoneman Douglas High, police say

Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested a 17-year-old Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Thursday after social media threats against the Parkland school were discovered online the night before. According to ... Read more »

Deaths in English Channel linked to money laundering in UK, MP says

The deaths of 27 people in the English Channel are linked to economic crime in the UK where “much” of the money paid to criminal gangs for human trafficking is ... Read more »

Middle school teacher accused of attempted rape at upstate New York casino

The alleged attack took place on Feb. 8 at the Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino. Anadolu Agency via Getty Images An upstate New York middle school teacher was accused of ... Read more »

Bodycam footage shows killer mum's crocodile tears as she tries to blame Arthur for causing his own horrific injuries

THIS is the chilling moment a stepmum who murdered a six-year-old boy tried to blame the little boy for casing his own injuries. Thomas Hughes, 29, and Emma Tustin, 32, ... Read more »

Omicron confirmed in man who attended NYC anime convention

The Associated PressIn this image from video provided by the New York Office of the Governor, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks during a news briefing, in New York, Thursday, ... Read more »

Variants, boosters turn rich-poor vaccine gap into chasm

Read more »

Scientists use stem cells to create models of pre-embryos

The Associated PressThis image, provided by the Institute of Molecular Biology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, shows a human “blastoid” created in a lab. A new study in Nature ... Read more »

Banksy street murals recreated in Milan's main train station

The Associated Press”The Umbrella girl” a reproduction of a mural by British artist Banksy is seen as a visitor walks past in background during the unveiling of the “The World ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic