The term “rookie wall” is often used to describe how first-year players may hit a roadblock in the midst of their seasons as they adjust to the 82-game schedule and increased competition level in the NBA.
With teams well into the second halves of their schedules, some rookies appear to be slowing down of late. However, there are others that are seemingly heating up at the moment and are continuing to play at a high level.
Indiana’s Bennedict Mathurin fits that bill.
The sixth pick (more on him below) is coming off one of his best outings of the season on Tuesday to lead the Pacers to a win over Chicago. The group snapped a seven-game losing streak with the win to set up a prime rookie matchup on Wednesday against Paolo Banchero and the Magic.
To make sense of it all, we looked at the best recent performances of these first-year players and ranked them in the latest edition of the Rookie Wire Power Rankings. The rankings are not for Rookie of the Year purposes but, rather, to illustrate the best players week to week.
Mark Williams, Charlotte Hornets
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Last Rank: N/A
Stats: 7.0 points and 5.3 rebounds
Williams checks in for the first time this season. He was used sparingly to begin the season but has played a major role with the team of late. Williams is averaging 7.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks on 60.8% shooting from the field in 15 games since Dec. 26. Included in that stretch: A 17-point and 13-rebound performance on Dec. 29.
The 15th pick also tied a season high with 17 points, six rebounds and five blocks on Jan. 18 in a win over the Rockets. With the performance, Williams became only the second player ever to reach that stat line in 20 minutes or fewer. After spending time in the G League, Williams appears to be settling in with the Hornets and is producing on a nightly basis.
Jalen Williams, Oklahoma City Thunder
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Last Rank: 3
Stats: 11.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists and one steal
Williams’ production has dipped some of late, but the 12th pick is still averaging 10.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists over his last…
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Author : Rookie Wire
Publish date : 2023-01-25 20:20:35
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