ROOKIE WATCH: WEEK 1

The NBA season is finally under way, with an exciting new batch of talent on display. This year we have the added twist of two number one draft picks competing as rookies. Simon Burr takes a look at who was hot in week 1…

1. John Wall | PG | Washington Wizards | 1st Pick 2010
21 PPG, 9 APG, 1.5 SPG,  39 MIN
No  surprise that this year’s number one pick is up here at the top. Wall’s quickness and ability to get to the rim evokes memories of Rose and Rondo. But it’s his passing that sets him apart – he’s getting his team-mates the ball and has been just one assist away from a double-double on both of his appearences. Looks like the Wizards finally have some magic to believe in.

2. Blake Griffin | PF | Los Angeles Clippers | 1st Pick 2009
16.7 PPG, 11 RPG, 0 BPG, 33.3 MIN
Due to his injury in the pre-season last year, Blake Griffin technically counts as a rookie for this 2010-2011 campaign. His debut may have been a year later than planned, but appears to have been worth the wait – his first NBA points came courtesy of a huge alley-oop…and he finished his first game with 20 points and 14 boards.

 3. Derrick Favors | PF | New Jersey Nets | 4th Pick 2010
10.3 PPG, 10 RPG, 0.3 BPG,  21.3 MIN
Like his power forward counterpart, Blake Griffin, Derrick Favors is impressing by also averaging doubles in points and rebounds. Unlike Griffin however, Favors is playing just 20 minutes per game. But that’s not stopped him helping his Nets to victories over the Pistons and the Kings. He’s looking so good off the bench that you should expect to see him getting some starting minutes soon.

4. DeMarcus Cousins | PF | Sacramento Kings | 5th Pick 2010
13.3 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 0 BPG, 25.3 MIN
The Kings added size at the trade deadline last year, swapping Kevin Martin for Carl Landry. They’ve gone from being weak in the post to having a glut of big men. So you can guess that it’s going to be ultra competitive for young power forward, DeMarcus Cousins to get playing time. But in two of his games so far he’s scored 14 off the bench.

5= Wesley Johnson | SF | Minnesota Timberwolves | 4th Pick 2010
5= Evan Turner | SG | Philidelphia 76ers | 2nd Pick 2010

Wesley Johnson and Evan Turner are this week’s joint number five. Both had impressive season openers (16 for Turner, 10 for Johnson)..but both then struggled on Friday (Turner went scoreless whilst Johnson had 5 turnovers).

BEST OF THE REST
The Pacer’s Paul George is averaging 6.7ppg. Gordon Hayward of the Jazz is averaging 6.3 points. Continuing the trend of over-acheiving San Antonio Spurs rookies, number 20 pick James Anderson is averaging 7.5 points per contest. I also have to mention OKC’s Quincy Pondexter, simply for having an incredible name. He’s well on track for winning ‘Cool Name Of The Year’ honours.

All images courtesy NBAE / Getty Images

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