NBA Rookie Rankings: Walker Kessler records historic stat streak; Paolo Panchero leads a winning comeback against the Sixers

With the calendar turning to February, which means we’re in the course of the busiest month throughout the NBA season. The commerce deadline is only a few days away on February ninth, adopted by All-Star weekend simply over per week later. For starters, All-Star weekend means the 2023 Jordan Rising Stars Championship on February 17, and this yr the pool of first-year gamers to select from is deep. rookies who will probably be Representing their groups throughout the Rising Stars match We’re:

All of those gamers completely deserve this honor, as they had been all featured a number of occasions throughout these weekly rankings. This record can be not exhaustive of the numerous different rookies who’re having robust seasons for his or her groups, exhibiting simply how deep the 2022 NBA draft actually is.

Now it is time to analyze this week’s rookie rankings. Remember the fact that these rankings will solely replicate the rookie’s efficiency on a weekly foundation, not the collegiate season. These aren’t the Rookie of the Yr rankings, however a mirrored image of the participant’s efficiency over the previous week.

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Coming into the commerce deadline, the Jazz introduced that the one untouchable gamers on their roster had been Lauri Markkanen, who might earn an All-Star choice for the primary time when the reserves are introduced, and Kessler, a 7-foot-tall rookie who retains getting greater. Subsequent query from everybody watching: How did he slip to twenty second within the draft?

Two weeks in the past, Kessler turned heads when he posted a 20-point, 21-rebound double-double, and this week he did one thing related with a 17-point, 14-rebound, and 7-block efficiency in a win over wild birds. He’s the primary participant since Dwight Howard in 2009 to put up that baseline whereas capturing no less than 80 p.c from the sector. He’s additionally the one participant this season to file seven blocks in two video games.

Every quantity from that baseline is extra spectacular than the final, and all of it ties in with how Kessler performs the sport. He’s aggressive on the offensive glass which results in second possibilities for himself.

Its mass creates transitional alternatives to jazz it up, which then results in a dump like this on the different finish of the upstart:

It is uncommon to see Kessler’s capacity to time blocks and affect photographs with out making errors from a rookie. Due to his peak and size, he can cowl quite a lot of house, however he additionally has the cat-like agility to make second blocks.

“He is very fast late on, if that makes any sense,” Jazz coach Will Hardy stated after the win over Toronto. “Not solely does he flip himself in early, he is in a position to shut down a number of areas along with his final stride and his size.”

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Eason had one A lot of the field outcomes are bizarre You will notice not solely from a beginner, however from any participant within the league. In a win in opposition to the Thunder this week, Eason grabbed 12 offensive rebounds, a quantity hardly ever seen within the league. In reality, it has occurred three extra occasions in NBA historical past. Popeye Jones completed the feat in 1994, Zydrunas Ilgauskas did it in 2005, and Tristan Thompson did it in 2014. It is one thing that appears to occur virtually each decade, and Eason is the one to do it this decade.

You’ll assume that with so many offensive boards, Eason should have had a monster recreation of rebounding on the opposite finish, however oddly sufficient, he solely had one defensive rebound. It is a unusual sq. to stare at, however should you’ve watched Eason play all this season, you may discover he is a footballer relating to offensive rebounds.

Simply take a look at Eason’s dedication on this play as he caught 4 offensive boards on one possession and was lastly rewarded with a -1 in any case of his exhausting work.

He ranks third amongst all rookies in offensive rebounds this season with a median of two.4 a recreation, however the two children forward of him — Kessler and Jalen Doreen — begin their groups whereas averaging greater than 20 minutes a recreation. Eason does all this whereas coming off the bench and taking part in 19 minutes each evening. The rebound earned Eason and the Rockets second-chance factors, and on an evening when Houston was with out two of its prime scorers in Jalen Inexperienced and Kevin Porter Jr., Eason’s aggressiveness on the offensive glass helped the Rockets shock the Thunder right into a victory.

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Mathurin has now scored no less than 20 factors in 5 video games, capping off a 27-point, eight-rebound efficiency in opposition to the workforce. grizzly. Regardless that the Pacers have solely gone 1-4 throughout Mathurin’s spectacular run of video games, he continues to show his value off the bench for the slugging Pacers workforce. However everyone knows Mathurin can rack up factors, and what stands out most throughout this stretch is that he averages 6.2 rebounds a recreation. In that two-point loss in opposition to Memphis, he led Indiana in complete rebounds whereas coming off the bench. In Mathurin’s final two video games mixed, he grabbed 16 rebounds in complete, seven of which got here on offensive glass.

It is an interesting space of ​​Mathurin’ that has unfolded in latest weeks. When he catches these defensive boards, he promptly pushes the tempo for the Pacers, usually entering into the paint for a straightforward bucket hit. When the offensive glass shatters, it provides Indiana an opportunity to reset or one other scoring alternative for Mathurin.

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The Magic had a giant win over the Sixers this week as Banchero scored 29 factors on 50 p.c from the sector and 60 p.c from deep. He additionally grabbed 9 rebounds and three assists within the win. It is the most recent instance of Banchero actually taking part in to the competitors, which we have already seen numerous occasions in opposition to Boston Celtics this chapter. Banchero was basically unstoppable in that first recreation in opposition to Philadelphia, taking it straight into Joel Embiid’s chest on one event, maneuvering by means of the pick-and-roll with ease a number of occasions.

However what goes up should go down, and two days later when the Magic performed the Sixers once more, Banchero was held to an ineffective 13-point loss. It needed to occur after Philadelphia surrendered a 21-point result in a 20-win Orlando workforce. However he has confirmed that Banchero shouldn’t be afraid of the second, even in opposition to a few of the greatest groups within the league.

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Suchan put up a profession excessive 30 factors in opposition to Phoenix Suns This week, he is made three three-pointers, grabbed eight rebounds and made 5 assists. We’re beginning to see a number of components of Soochan’s recreation coming collectively and altering the bar on what his profession may very well be. His continued enchancment in his 3-point capturing hints that with extra growth, possibly he can do some injury from lengthy vary two years from now. However his assists this week turned heads to indicate there’s a number of untapped potential for this child going ahead.

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