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Sports Spiel 11/9/12

Courtesy+of+abeckstrom+on+Flickr%0A

Courtesy of abeckstrom on Flickr

 

 

 

The new season has finally arrived! This year will showcase new talent for every team. Here are some rookies every fan should know. 

Jared Sullinger, PF, Boston Celtics:

After reports from college that Sullinger has a degenerative back, this promising forward from Ohio State dropped considerably in the draft. The Celtics nabbed him, a steal at 21st pick. At 6 foot 9, Sullinger isn’t the most athletic player, but his willingness to crash the boards, mixed with great fundamentals, give the Celtics a coachable, talented prospect they can rely on in any situation. 

Jonas Valanciunas, C, Toronto Raptors:

Drafted fifth overall by the Raptors in 2011, Valanciunas spent all of last season in his native Lithuania honing his skills. This year he is eligible to play in the NBA, and many believe he has high ability. At seven feet, he has great athleticism and instinct for his size. Still raw offensively, but only 20 years old—the sky’s the limit for the big guy. 

Thomas Robinson, PF, Sacramento Kings:

Probably the most athletic prospect in this year’s draft, Robinson provides high energy and great rebounding for the Kings. Search “Thomas Robinson tip dunk on Dwight Howard” to see an example. At 6 foot 10, he was a dominant player in college, averaging 17.7 points and 11.9 rebounds per game for Kansas. The Kings drafted him fifth overall, and he figures to provide some highlight plays in Sacramento.

Bradley Beal, SG, Washington Wizards:

A 6 foot 3 shooting guard from Florida with one of the best shots in his class, Beal was picked sixth overall by the Wizards. Though undersized for an NBA two-guard, his quickness and ability to drive to the basket, along with his excellent shot, should enable him to be a dynamic scorer off the bench. Expect Beal to play more in the beginning of the season because of John Wall’s patella injury, averaging about 10 points per game. If given enough playing time, he should be a contender for rookie of the year.  

Damian Lillard, PG, Portland Trail Blazers:

The Blazers needed a new point guard. With the 6 foot 3 Lillard from Weber State, they got a good one. He averaged a whopping 24.5 points per game last year. He has a good first step, great finishing ability around the basket, and can shoot from anywhere on the court. While his playmaking still needs work, Lillard projects a good year starting for an already talented team. Expect a tenacious game style with around 15 points per game. He should be another rookie of the year candidate.

Anthony Davis, PF, New Orleans Hornets:

He is a lanky 6 foot 10 forward from Kentucky who figures to be a dominant defensive force for years to come. Davis was drafted first overall this year by the Hornets. He averaged 4.7 blocks and 1.4 steals per game in his only year at Kentucky. Davis has a great work ethic and by spending time with future Hall of Famers at the Olympics, his offensive game quickly improved. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him average 15 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game this season starting at power forward. Davis is the favorite to win Rookie of the Year this year.