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12-15-2004, 02:37 PM
NOTE: This top section will be updates every week...
Rookie Rankings: Dec. 13, 2004
By Randy Kim

1. Emeka Okafor, F-C, Charlotte (No. 2)
Stats: 14.0 PPG, 11.2 RPG, 1.1 APG (26.3 PRA)
Upcoming: vs. N.O. (12/14), vs. Hou. (12/18)
Breakdown: Although the Bobcats went 0-4 for the week, Okafor had a solid stretch, averaging 14.3 ppg and 13.3 rpg over Charlotte's last four games. The rookie power forward has notched 10 straight double-doubles.

2. Dwight Howard, F, Orlando (No. 1)
Stats: 10.8 PPG, 10.2 RPG, 1.4 APG (22.4 PRA)
Upcoming: at Pho. (12/13), at S.A. (12/15), vs. Den. (12/18), at Mia. (12/19)
Breakdown: Leave it to a 19-year-old (although he was 18 at the time) to thrive in the thin air of Denver. Howard had 23-10-4 in a Dec. 6 road loss to the Nuggets. He then turned 19 two days later in Utah, and dropped 17 and 11 in a win over the Jazz.

3. Ben Gordon, G, Chicago (No. 3)
Stats: 11.7 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 1.4 APG (15.2 PRA)
Upcoming: vs. Dal. (12/13), at Mem. (12/15), vs. Mil. (12/16), vs. Ind. (12/18)
Breakdown: Emerging as the explosive scorer the Bulls had hoped he'd become. Gordon scored 21 in a win against Cleveland, then went for 31 in an impressive victory over Minnesota. Chicago is 3-0 when Gordon has scored more than 20 points.

4. Luol Deng, G-F, Chicago (No. 7)
Stats: 14.5 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 1.9 APG (21.8 PRA)
Upcoming: vs. Dal. (12/13), at Mem. (12/15), vs. Mil. (12/16), vs. Ind. (12/18)
Breakdown: Steady contributor for the Bulls. Averaged 11.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg and 2.0 apg for the week. Only thing lacking was his outside touch; he's just 1-for-8 from 3-point range over his last four games.

5. Andre Iguodala, F, Philadelphia (No. 9)
Stats: 7.6 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 2.4 APG (15.6 PRA)
Upcoming: vs. Den. (12/14), vs. N.Y. (12/17), at Mil. (12/18)
Breakdown: Iguodala had a career-high 18 points (along with six boards, five assists and two steals) in a Dec. 8 loss to Minnesota. For the week, the rookie out of Arizona averaged 9.0 ppg and 4.5 rpg.

6. Josh Smith, F, Atlanta Hawks (No. 17)
Stats: 6.4 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 0.9 APG (10.9 PRA)
Upcoming: vs. Ind. (12/14), at Hou. (12/15), vs. Por. (12/17), at Dal. (12/18)
Breakdown: In an effort to go with a "tall-ball" lineup, Hawks coach Mike Woodson has started the 6-9 Smith at shooting guard the last two games. The hyper-athletic high-schooler averaged an impressive 10.5 ppg and 6.8 rpg for the week, and is a key part of the Atlanta rotation.

7. Chris Duhon, G, Chicago (No. 38)
Stats: 4.2 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 4.4 APG (10.2 PRA)
Upcoming: vs. Dal. (12/13), at Mem. (12/15), vs. Mil. (12/16), vs. Ind. (12/18)
Breakdown: After starting the season 0-9, the Bulls are a solid 4-5 since inserting Duhon in the starting lineup. Over that stretch, the former Duke guard has averaged a solid 4.9 ppg, 2.0 rpg and 4.7 apg.

8. Andre Barrett, G, Houston (Undrafted)
Stats: 4.8 PPG, 1.1 RPG, 2.4 APG (8.3 PRA)
Upcoming: vs. Atl. (12/15), vs. G.S. (12/17), at Cha. (12/18)
Breakdown: Barrett is suddenly a major bench contributor for the Rockets. The 5-10 point guard out of Seton Hall has averaged 6.6 ppg and 3.6 apg over Houston's last five games, and has hit 5-of-16 3-pointers over that stretch as well.

9. David Harrison, C, Indiana (No. 29)
Stats: 6.5 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 0.3 APG (10.2 PRA)
Upcoming: at Atl. (12/14), vs. Tor. (12/17), at Chi. (12/18)
Breakdown: The Pacers have dropped seven straight games, but at least they can find a bright spot in the play of Harrison. Over his last four games, the 7-0 center out of Colorado is averaging 10.7 ppg and 4.3 rpg while hitting 18-of-32 field goals.

10. Matt Freije, F, New Orleans (No. 53)
Stats: 3.8 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 0.7 APG (7.0 PRA)
Upcoming: at Cha. (12/14), vs. G.S. (12/15), vs. S.A. (12/17), at Sac. (12/19)
Breakdown: Freije has started the last four games for the injury-depleted Hornets. While New Orleans lost all four of those games, the 6-10 rookie out of Vanderbilt averaged 6.3 ppg and 3.5 rpg over that stretch. His outside shooting is also a plus for Byron Scott and company.

12-15-2004, 03:37 PM
Iggy seems to be much more steady than Deng at this point. I am unfortunately subjected to the Bulls up here in Chicago and I have to say that Deng is just as likely to dribble the ball off his leg as he is to slice through the lane for impressive play.

12-15-2004, 03:47 PM
I think it's the points that separates the two. I've only seen two Philly games this year so far, both 'dre did good, but nothing great. He's getting better, though, as I think three of his past four games he's been in double-figures.