The NBA season is moving into the middle of November and some rookie players have started off strong, including Kristaps Porzingis, Karl-Anthony Towns, Jahlil Okafor and Jerian Grant. D'Angelo Russell, Stanley Johnson and Justise Winslow have also shown some potential and that group of players are battling for the NBA rookie of the year award this season.
UPDATE: Porzingis had a big game for the Knicks Tuesday night with 29 points against the Hornets.
Here is a look at the rookies and how they have been playing so far this season:
Porzingis has been playing above expectations for the Knicks and he has been in the starting lineup for the team this season. Porzingis has brought energy to the frontline for the Knicks and he has shown some great athleticism on both sides of the floor. Towns has been playing like a first round pick and is averaging a double-double this season, while Okafor has emerged as the best player on a bad Sixers team.
D'Angelo Russell has had an up and down start to the season and while he has been getting chances for the Lakers, he has also struggled with defense and has been benched at times by Byron Scott. Jerian Grant has not been able to break into the starting lineup for the Knicks yet, but when he has played he has continued to make an impact. Justise Winslow has been earning more minutes for the Miami Heat, while Stanley Johnson has been inconsistent but has shown some flashes of potential for the Pistons.
Porzingis is averaging 11.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game this season and he has shown some offensive skills from long range as well. Porzingis has become a fan favorite for the Knicks with his effort on the court and he has put aside a lot of the doubt that some had after the Knicks made him the number four overall pick in the draft this year.
Towns was the top pick in the draft and he has delivered on his expectations, averaging 15 points and 10 rebounds per game for the Timberwolves. Towns has only been in single digit scoring once in his last seven games and he has been putting up some strong rebounding numbers this season. Okafor has also looked good after being taken number three overall, as he is averaging 19.2 points and 7.3 rebounds per game for the Sixers. Okafor and Towns are both shooting for a high percentage as well.
Russell has shown some flashes of potential, but he also has struggled late in games and on defense for the Lakers. Russell is averaging 9.2 points and 4.0 rebounds with 2.8 assists per game in 10 games this season. Winslow is averaging 7.2 points and 4.7 rebounds per game this season and he has been making an impact on the defensive side of the floor for Miami.
Grant has been working with the second unit for the Knicks and he has 6.8 points and 2.5 assists per game this season and has gotten some praise from Carmelo Anthony. Stanley Johnson continues to work things out for the Pistons and he comes in after averaging 7.4 points and 4.0 rebounds per game this season. Johnson had his best game against the Warriors on November 9, scoring 20 points and adding seven rebounds.
Current rankings for rookie of the year:
Jahlil Okafor/ Kristaps Porzingis
D'Angelo Russell/ Jerian Grant