Kings must get Tyreke Evans help this summer

By: David Kay

’09-’10 Season in Review:
The Kings suffered through their fourth straight losing season but showed improvement in the second year of their re-building project.  That improvement can be attributed to the arrival of the next big thing; Tyreke Evans (allow me to say “I told you so” as I have been high on Evans since seeing him in person at the 2008 McDonald’s All-American Game.)  Evans joined LeBron James and Dwyane Wade as the only players in the NBA to average at least 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists per game and has stud potential written all over him.  In the process of Evans taking the reigns as the face of the franchise, Sacramento decided to deal Kevin Martin partly due to the fact that they didn’t think Martin and Evans were the perfect fit in the same backcourt.  Martin was practically given away though as the Kings received Carl Landry and cap space in exchange.
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Brandon Jennings vs. Tyreke Evans: A referendum for Rookie of the Year

Evans

By Jake McCormick

The 2009-10 Milwaukee Bucks and Sacramento Kings were expected to spend more time in the basement of their respective conferences than Jerry Stiller in the King of Queens. But thanks to the accelerated development of point guards Tyreke Evans and Brandon Jennings and some added help from previously unknown Euros (Omir Casspi, Ersan Ilyasova), both teams have been a pleasant surprise to their fan bases. [Read more…]

NBA Rookie of the Year Race 12-18

tyrekevsbulls

By: David Kay

Welcome to a weekly feature here at the The Sports Bank where we break down the top rookies in the NBA and who has the edge to win the Rookie of the Year Award.  With the top overall pick Blake Griffin still sidelined, a pair of rookie point guards are battling it out for the top spot.  Check out the updated Rookie of the Year Race.
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2010 NBA Rookie of the Year Race

brandon-jennings-bucks

By: David Kay

With the first overall pick, Blake Griffin still sidelined, the battle for the NBA Rookie of the Year award is becoming a two horse race.  Every week, David Kay breaks down the top rookies in the association.  Check out his latest rankings.
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2010 NBA Rookie of the Year Race

wes_matthews

By: David Kay

Welcome to a weekly feature here at the The Sports Bank where we break down the top rookies in the NBA and who has the edge to win the Rookie of the Year Award.  Check back every Thursday for an update.

The 2009 NBA Draft was dubbed “The Point Guard Draft” and now we are seeing why.  The top five players on my Rookie of the Year Race run the point.  Here are the updated Rookie of the Year Race Standings:

1. Brandon Jennings, Bucks (Last Week Ranking: #1)

’09-’10: 21.5 ppg, 5.8 apg, 3.9 rpg, 1.2 spg
My ’09-’10 Prediction: 12 ppg, 7 apg, 2 spg

Jennings has really struggled shooting the ball during the past week (32% in his last four games.)  He is still doing a nice job of finding teammates even though the Bucks have cooled off, losing five of their last six.

2. Tyreke Evans, Kings (LWR: #2)
’09-’10: 19.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 4.8 apg, 1.25 spg
My ’09-’10 Prediction: 17.0 ppg, 5 rpg, 6 apg, 2 spg

Evans continues to produce as I expected him to in his rookie season.  With injuries to Kevin Martin and Francisco Garcia, Evans has been one of the main reasons Sacramento is off to a surprising 9-8 start.

3. Jonny Flynn, Timberwolves (LWR: #4)
’09-’10: 14.3 ppg, 3.8 apg, 2.6 rpg, 1.1 spg
My ’09-’10 Prediction: 15 ppg, 7 apg, 1.75 spg

Flynn is still holding onto the starting job in Minnesota despite Ramon Sessions outplaying him on some nights.  He cut back on his turnovers during the past week which has been a major issue in the first part of his rookie season.

4. Stephen Curry, Warriors (LWR: #3)
’09-’10: 10.2 ppg, 5.4 apg, 3.1 rpg, 1.5 spg
My ’09-’10 Prediction: 12 ppg, 4 apg, 3 rpg

Curry has yet to really light up the scoreboard like he did so often at Davidson, yet he continues to see heavy minutes for Golden State.  I can’t help but wonder how better he would be suited playing somewhere else and not in the same backcourt as Monta Ellis.

Check out then entire Rookie of the Year Rankings.

2010 NBA Rookie of the Year Race

tyreke kings

By: David Kay

1. Brandon Jennings, Bucks (Last Week Ranking: #1)
’09-’10: 23.4 ppg, 5.8 apg, 4.5 rpg, 1.2 spg
My ’09-’10 Prediction: 12 ppg, 7 apg, 2 spg

He is single-handedly reviving the Bucks franchise as they are out to an 8-5 start.  Jennings scoring has dipped since Michael Redd returned from injury, but more so because Jennings has shot 10-36 in those two games.

2. Tyreke Evans, Kings (LWR: #2)
’09-’10: 19.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 4.9 apg, 1.5 spg
My ’09-’10 Prediction: 17.1 ppg, 5 rpg, 6 apg, 2 spg

All of my Tyreke Evans gushing is definitely paying off.  Evans has shown his ability to attack the basket and has an improving mid-range game.  He is turning the ball over at a high rate, but that is to be expected playing on a terrible Kings team.  I still no have question that he will be something special in the NBA.

3. Stephen Curry, Warriors (LWR: #5)
’09-’10: 10.2 ppg, 5.2 apg, 3.1 rpg, 1.4 spg
My ’09-’10 Prediction: 12 ppg, 4 apg, 3 rpg

The trade of Stephen Jackson for Raja Bell, who is injured, has opened up the opportunity for Curry to see consistent playing time.  He has shot the ball well from deep and proved more than capable of running the point in the NBA.

4. Jonny Flynn, Timberwolves (LWR: #4)
’09-’10: 14.1 ppg, 3.2 apg, 2.5 rpg, 1.1 spg
My ’09-’10 Prediction: 15 ppg, 7 apg, 1.75 spg

Through 15 games, Flynn has five more turnovers than assists which is a bit startling.  He has not shot the ball exceptionally well as the T-Wolves have now lost 14 straight since winning their season opener against New Jersey.

5. Terrence Williams, Nets (LWR: #3)
’09-’10: 10.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.0 apg, .6 spg
’09-’10 Prediction: 7 ppg, 4 rpg, 2.5 apg, 2 spg

With Devin Harris and Courtney Lee back in the line-up, Williams’ playing time will likely take a hit.  Still, he has done a lot of nice things for the winless Nets though his numbers should drop due to his decreased playing time.

Check out the rest of the Rookie of the Year Rankings.

2010 NBA Rookie of the Year Race

tyreke_evans-kings

By: David Kay

Welcome to a weekly feature here at the The Sports Bank where we break down the top rookies in the NBA and who has the edge to win the Rookie of the Year Award.  Check back every Thursday for an update.

Injuries have allowed several rookies to begin to flourish for their respective teams.  One rookie is gaining ground on the early favorite to claim the honor.  Here is the updated Rookie of the Year rankings.

1. Brandon Jennings, Bucks (Last Week Ranking: #1)
’09-’10: 20.7 ppg, 5.2 apg, 4.3 rpg, 1.3 spg
My ’09-’10 Prediction: 12 ppg, 7 apg, 2 spg

Just when I debating whether to drop Jennings out of the top spot, he drops 32 points in the Bucks win against Denver and TOTALLY redeems himself.  Milwaukee is now a surprising 4-2 which is impressive considering Michael Redd’s injury.  Jennings is a big part of the reason for that.

2. Tyreke Evans, Kings (LWR: #4)
’09-’10: 16.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 4.4 apg, 1.5 spg
My ’09-’10 Prediction: 17.5 ppg, 5 rpg, 6 apg, 2 spg

Now that Kevin Martin has joined Francisco Garcia as injured Kings and Desmond Mason has been released, Evans is shouldering a much heavier load.  Strange how Sacramento hasn’t missed a beat though as they have won three straight with Evans leading the way.  He scored 32 in a win at Utah and put together a 20 point, 8 rebound, 8 assist game Tuesday vs. the Thunder.

3. Jonny Flynn, Timberwolves (LWR: #3)
’09-’10: 15.0 ppg, 3.2 apg, 3.4 rpg, 1.3 spg
My ’09-’10 Prediction: 15 ppg, 7 apg, 1.75 spg

Despite the T-Wolves eight game losing skid, Flynn has been solid.  The assist total is much lower than expected and Minnesota needs him to become more of a playmaker.

terrence-williams-nets

4. Terrence Williams, Nets (LWR: #6)
’09-’10: 10.0 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.4 apg, .4 spg
’09-’10 Prediction: 7 ppg, 4 rpg, 2.5 apg, 2 spg

Having four Net starters either injured or sick has meant a spot in the starting line-up and more playing time for the former Louisville Cardinal.  As expected, he has struggled shooting the ball, but using his versatility to be a factor in other aspects of the game.

Check out the rest of the Rookie of Year Race Rankings and NBA Power Rankings.

2010 NBA Rookie of the Year Race

*Nov 21 - 00:05*

By David Kay

Now that the free-agency period is starting to sort itself out, we have a better grasp on what roles the class of 2009 will be playing on the teams that drafted them. Here is a very early look at my prediction for how the Rookie of the Year race might shake down.

 

1. Blake Griffin, Clippers (1st overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 17 ppg, 9 rpg

Now that the Clips have rid themselves of Zach Randolph, Griffin will have every opportunity to play 36 minutes a night at power forward. He was the obvious choice to be the No. 1 pick, and is also the obvious choice for rookie of the year. That is assuming his banged-up shoulder recovers rather than hinders his first season as a cursed Clipper.

 

 2. Tyreke Evans, Kings (4th overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 20 ppg, 5 rpg, 6 apg, 2 spg

This is about the 1,263,914th time I’ve said this; Evans is going to be an absolute stud. He is playing for one of the worst teams in the league and will have every chance to chuck up at least 20 shots a night. His size allows him to crash boards. His handles and slashing abilities will give him plenty of assist opportunities. His length and quickness will get him a good amount of steals. If Evans can develop a consistent jumper, he will eventually hover around the 30-point-per-game mark in the NBA. Yup, I just said that.

 

3. Jonny Flynn, Timberwolves (6th overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 15 ppg, 7 apg, 1.75 spg

Assuming Ricky Rubio is not playing in the NBA next season, Flynn will be running the show for the T-Wolves. As proven by his 67-minute performance against UConn, Flynn is capable of playing heavy minutes on a nightly basis and will be asked to do so in Minnesota, since they don’t have a lot of depth in their backcourt. I also think he will be able to contribute right away to a young T-Wolves team that wants to run more this season.

 

 
 4. James Harden, Thunder (3rd overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 12 ppg, 4 rpg, 3 apg

Oklahoma City will be the most intriguing young team to follow for the next couple years. Harden should benefit playing alongside an offensive threat like Kevin Durant and in the same backcourt as the speedy Russell Westbrook. He should start right away as the Thunder try to build chemistry among their future stars.

 

5. Brandon Jennings, Bucks (10th overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 10 ppg, 7 apg, 2 spg

With Ramon Sessions unlikely to return to Milwaukee this season, it appears Jennings will get every opportunity to run the point. Add in the fact that the Bucks might have the least amount of talent in the league, and Jennings’ play-making abilities should net him some solid stats.

 

 6. Stephen Curry, Warriors (7th overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 11 ppg, 4 apg, 3 rpg

Curry is not shy about pulling the trigger on any shot within 30 feet of the basket, which fits Golden State’s style of play perfectly. He will be gunning whenever he is on the floor. Question is, how are the Warriors going to spread the ball around with a group of players who need to get their shots to be happy?

 

 7. Tyler Hansbrough, Pacers (13th overall) tylerhansbrough

’09-’10 Prediction: 10 ppg, 7 rpg

I’ve always thought Hansbrough would have a steady, but not spectacular NBA career. He should be able to provide some toughness and energy off the bench for the Pacers who don’t have a lot of depth up front.

 

  

 

 8. DeJuan Blair, Spurs (37th overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 9 ppg, 7 rpg

Factor in the massive chip on his shoulder for falling into the second round with the fact that the Spurs are thin up front with aging players Tim Duncan, Antonio McDyess and Theo Ratliff on the roster, and Blair should see plenty of time coming off the bench for the Spurs. I could see him having a Kevin Love-type rookie impact in San Antonio.

 

 9. Terrence Williams, Nets (11th overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 8 ppg, 5 rpg, 3 apg, 2 spg

The trade of Vince Carter opens up some playing time for the versatile Terrence Williams. His ability to do a lot of different things on the floor should log him decent playing time and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is the starting small forward alongside the backcourt of Devin Harris and Courtney Lee. Like Evans, if Williams can improve his jumper, he could be a very good pro.

 

10. Jordan Hill, Knicks (8th overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 9 ppg, 6 rpg

Depending on what New York does with David Lee, Hill could potentially be a starter for the Knicks this season. If Lee is retained, the former Wildcat probably comes off the bench and drops out of the top 10. Still, with his size and athleticism, he should get a chance to flourish in Mike D’Antoni’s run-and-gun offense.

Honorable Mentions: Earl Clark, Suns (14th overall), Demar DeRozan (9th overall), Wayne Ellington (28th overall)

 

The Wild Card:

 

 Ricky Rubio, Timberwolves (5th overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 9 ppg, 6 apg, 3 rpg

It is extremely unlikely that Rubio will be playing in the NBA this season. But if he somehow ends up in a T-Wolves uniform, he should be able to make an immediate impact having been playing professionally in Europe since he was 14. However, being in the same backcourt as Flynn, another point guard, will likely effect Rubio’s assist total and drop Flynn’s numbers as well.

 

The Project:

 Hasheem Thabeet, Grizzlies (2nd overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 5 ppg, 4 rpg, 1.5 bpg

I like Thabeet and can in no way deny the defensive impact he made at UConn. With that said, I still think he is a couple years away from being an effective NBA player. He will obviously get his share of rebounds and blocks when he is in the game, but I don’t see him cracking more than 12-15 minutes a game in his first season.thabeet

 

The Sleeper:

 DaJuan Summers, Pistons (35th overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 8 ppg, 4 rpg

I can’t really call Blair a sleeper since (even though he was picked in the second round) everyone will be giving him that title. Summers should make more of an immediate impact with the Pistons than first-round pick Austin Daye, since Daye needs to get stronger and Detroit doesn’t have a lot of depth at forward. Minnesota’s Wayne Ellington and Toney Douglas of the Knicks could also be sleepers, especially if Rubio doesn’t play for the T-Wolves this year and if Nate Robinson leaves the Knicks.