The 2013-2014 NBA season already started. The basketball superstars, many of which are in new teams, will of course dominate the interest and all the flashlights from the media. However, there some rising stars that will also be interesting to watch and these are no others than the rookies. Let’s break down which rookies are projected to make a difference this season.
The No.2 of the 2013 NBA Draft, Victor Oladipo, might be the most significant rookie to watch this season. Oladipo has already made the difference with his performance during the pre-season. He is averaging 14.4 PPG, 6.0 RPG and 5.0 APG in seven games with the Orlando Magic. The most impressive thing, however, might be that he players for just 27.4 MPG. He is definitely one of the candidates for the Rookie of the Year award.
Steven Adams is another rookie to watch this season. It didn’t take long for the 7-footer center of the Oklahoma City Thunder to make his impact felt. With 7.9 PPG and 62.2 percent shooting from the field, he proves every night why he is considered to be a great fit for the Oklahoma City Thunder. He is projected to be a solid backup for Kendrick Perkins.
Ben McLemore of the Sacramento Kings has managed to showcase his wide variety of skills in the pre-season. He is shooting 40 percent from the three-point territory but his scoring abilities don’t stop there. Once he gets in rhythm, he can easily score 20 points or more a night. He can be considered as another candidate for the NBA Rookie of the Year award. In Sacramento, he will have all the opportunities he needs to see much playing time and let his star shine.
The New York Knicks were happy to see their rookie guard, Tim Hardaway Jr. having some great outputs during various games of the pre-season. What he is better at is shooting the three. He has gone for a 40.5 percent average from downtown in his first six games. As a rookie, the expectations Mike Woodson will have from him are not high. All he will have to do is provide 110 percent of his energy when on court and hit the open three. He is doing both with success up to now. With J.R. Smith suspended for the first five games of the season, Hardaway Jr. is expected to be given chances to play.
We couldn’t leave the No.1 of this year’s NBA Draft out of the discussion. Anthony Bennett from the Cleveland Cavaliers has had his ups and downs during the pre-season. He is shooting a mediocre 35 percent from the field but many of his shots come from mid or long-range, not the zone his is most comfortable from. Bennett will have to work his way to the NBA, now that he will have to play against the pros.
The injured rookies, Nerlens Noel and C.J. McCollum are worth of a mention. Noel will unfortunately miss the entire 2013-2014 season due to an injury. He should not be counted in this season, but he shouldn’t be forgotten either. McCollum on the other hand experience a fractured foot and he will miss an extended time. Once he returns, he can make an impact.