Saturday Night’s game at home against the Magic is now officially “Brookie Night.” Brookie, that is so awesome, I wish I would have come up with that. The Nets, who are continuing their Brook Lopez for ROY campaign, will be giving out the above T-Shirts to the first 500 fans in attendence Saturday Night*. I was thinking about going to see this game anyway (Brook vs. Dwight should be a great matchup – Skip vs. Devin Harris too), but now I think I have to go and get one of these shirts, the comic book cover style looks awesome! It is going to be a great collector’s item when he wins the Rookie of the Year.
The first 500 Toyotas to pull up also get’s free parking…
I know it seems like this is a Brook Lopez blog more than a Nets blog as of late, but David Thorpe, a writer for ESPN, gave out his awards for the rookie class this year, and Brook Lopez was all over them. Brook was mentioned for:
- Defensive Rookie Of The Year
- Biggest Surprise of the Class
- All Defensive Team
- All Rookie First Team
I know this is just one guy’s opinion, but it is awesome to see Brook getting the respect he deserves!
.With the season winding down, and the Nets no longer in contention for the final playoff spot, a lot of talk about the Nets have revolved around Brook Lopez and whether or not he is going to be the Rookie Of The Year. Brook definitely has a good shot at winning this (and the Nets must think so as well, because they have put out a promotional video, highlighting some of his stats and showing some of his biggest highlights), but he does have competition, and that competition is Derrick Rose. In the end, one of these two players are going to win ROY, so I am going to compare these two and show you who I think should win Rookie Of The Year (hint it’s Brook) and who will win it.
Why Brook Should Win It:
The numbers. Brook has been a solid producer from the get go and when it comes to rookie big men, this is a rarity. Brook has started 70 of the team’s 77 games, and averages 30.5 minutes a game. In those minutes, he is averaging 13 points a game (which is 6th among all rookies), and 7.9 rebounds a game (which is 2nd among all rookies). Brook is also the only rookie with over 100 blocks (139 to be exact), while averaging over 1 block per game (1.8 to be exact). Among all NBA players (not just rookies, the whole NBA), Brook is 7th in total blocks and 10th in blocks per game. Also, for what it is worth, Brook is in the top 20 of all rookies in assists (1.1 per game), so he is getting the job done in all facets of his game. Brook is 3rd among all rookies in double-doubles, and his shooting percentage (53.2%) is 6th among rookies, but of rookies who are averaging over 10 shots per game, Brook leads in FG% (This in my opinion is very important. It shows that Brook is good enough to get the touches, and when he does, he converts them).
Derrick’s numbers are not shabby at all, but in my opinion they just don’t compare. Derrick is 2nd in PPG among all rookies with 16.6, and he is also first in assists with 6.2 (but that tends to happen when you are the starting PG for your team, and when he is out there, it is arguable that he is the first option for the Bulls. Meanwhile, Brook is 3rd option for the Nets on good nights…). Other than that, Brook has him topped in all other categories (and this is with Derrick playing about 6 more minutes per game than Brook).
The final and in my opinion most important stat is PER, and this too shows Brook is more productive than Derrick with the time he is being given. If you don’t know what PER is, you can find out more about it here, but basically it is a per-minute assessment of players (and it is also pace-adjusted as well). Brook is 4th among rookies with a 17.87 PER (he is only behind Marreese Speights, Kevin Love, and Greg Oden). Derrick Rose is 9th on the list with a PER of 15.66. Another efficiency stat that I looked at was VA or Value Added (this number is the estimated number of points a player adds to a team’s season total above what a “replacement player” (for instance, the 12th man on the roster) would produce. Value Added = ([Minutes * (PER – PRL)] / 67). PRL (Position Replacement Level) = 11.5 for power forwards, 11.0 for point guards, 10.6 for centers, 10.5 for shooting guards and small forwards). Brook leads all rookies with a VA of 254.7 (Derrick Rose is 4th with 194.6). The final effciency stat that I looked at was EWA or Estimated Wins Added (Like Value Added, Estimated Wins Added takes a look at how many wins a player was worth above what a “replacement player” would contribute. Estimated Wins Added is Value Added divided by 30, giving the estimated number of wins a player adds to a team’s season total above what a “replacement player” would produce). Brook leads all rookies in EWA with 8.5 (Derrick Rose is 4th with 6.5). These stats show that Brook is overall more effective with the minutes he receives, and that he is worth 3 whole wins more to his team than D. Rose is.
Why Derrick Should Win It
Success of his team. While the Nets contended for a playoff spot until later in the season, Derrick Rose has been running point for a Bulls squad that has pretty much locked up a playoff spot (Most analysts didn’t have them even sniffing at the playoffs), and they are even challenging for the 7th or 6th (which may be a stretch) seed. Despite individual awards being handed out based on individual achievments, it would be naive to think that the people handing out the hardware won’t look at team performence. This is especially true for the Rookie of The Year award.
So Who Will Win It?
You already know that I think Brook should win it, but who WILL win it? If you want my honest opinion, it is going to be a tough call and you can really go either way with this one. I decided to look at the trends to see how the award has been given out recently. Looking at ROY award winners since 2001, only 3 have been guards. The winning team trend has also been broken, none of the winners in the 2000s has lead their team to the playoffs. This looks good for Brook, and I think in the end his production will be too much to overlook, and he will end up winning the ROY. If Derrick Rose wins it you can’t get too mad though, he had a great season and did lead the Bulls to the playoffs. There is even a possibility for a co-ROY, but if they didn’t do it when Carmelo and LeBron were rookies, I don’t see them doing it now.
Before I get to the post, you guys need to read this. Gives you everything you need to know (maybe more – Did you know that Yi Jianlian is the son of two pro handball players?) about each and every NJ Net. All 15 of them. Real interesting read, and if you have a boring job like I do, it is a great way to kill some time at the office.
Now on to the rookies. The Nets received high praise for their draft day this year, and what this preseason showed (especially the finale against the Knicks) is that the experts were right (for once – another rant for another day). Like I said earlier (but now I want to go more in depth), these rookies are ready for competitive minutes. Let’s take a look at each one a little more in depth.
Brook is the best among the rooks (and is deserving of the most minutes), which makes sense since he was drafted the highest. He is very strong with his back to the basket and has shown he has a ton of low post moves (a great jump hook), and he can also pass out of the low block, which is just as important. On defense, he is a shot blocking machine…he averaged over 2 blocks per game. Oh and he can shoot foul shots too! There is a man-crush developing here.
It is not all positives though, he is a young fella after all…his main problem is not getting good enough position on the block before getting the ball. This could be solved by a quick pass out and a repost, but Lopez seems to force the issue (a couple times on Friday I saw him taking his jump hooks from just inside the stripe. Too far away!). Lopez will get better at this with experience…so I am not too worried, but it may cause some issues the first couple of games.
With all this being said…if he isn’t starting, I am going to be pissed…he’s ready, and he has proved it this preseason!
Ryan Anderson was a spot up shooting type big man in college last year, and after a breakout sophomore season, he decided to enter the draft and the Nets drafted him. I see him being a role player for his first couple of years, getting in the game to drain the three ball. Because that is all he can do right now…you saw it on Friday, he looked lost when they closed out on him and forced him to put the ball on the floor. Even with all this being said, I do see him becoming a Dirk type of player (im talking 5-6 years down the line, so don’t jump down my throat).
This year though, he should get some minutes…a decent amount…whenever the team may need a three or use him in pick-and-pop situations.
This guy is the hardest to guess his playing time. Early on during the year, he probably won’t be getting too many minutes…probably only whenever there is foul trouble or injuries…but depending on his play he could see more minutes as the season goes on (which I see happening). I like CDR because his athleticism and his size gives him the ability to cover multiple positions on defense (He could probably cover the opposing team’s 1-3 players – the 2 or the 3 more realistically). He has also shown improvement in one of the weakest part of his game, his foul shooting (we all remember the championship game last year). He shot 88% from the line.
So what does all this rambling mean? Well, it means that I am likely what I see from these rookies. Sure not all of them are ready to start this year, but they are all ready to contribute (and when I say contribute, I mean get in there and fill a roll). That’s a positive…especially when you believe everyone else who says we are rebuilding. Anyway, we are only one day away from the start of the season! Well, technically it starts tonight, but it doesn’t matter because it isn’t the Nets! Look for another post later/tomorrow on why our start is sooooo important this year plus a game preview for Opening Night!