Early Returns on 2020-21 NBA Rookies

The Warriors Made the Right Pick

Steph Curry has always been deadly on and off the ball in pick and roll sheerly because of his shooting. He has a lot of gravity. He needs less time to shoot and is the most accurate the game has ever seen. Even with him missing basically a year defenses still remember him to be the offensive threat he is. This has been to the massive benefit of his teammates, this year more specifically to James Wiseman.

Being athletic and seven feet tall is always a plus, but positioning him as Curry’s roller gives him easy points every game. Before the draft I wrote about Wiseman being the best player in the draft and how he would fit in Golden State. Not only is he showing promise, but he is out right performing. His rolling to the rim is only one part of his game, the fact that he can knock down threes gives him and his teammates more space to work. Only expect this offense to get better as coach Kerr works all the pieces together going into the future.  

Anthony Edwards is Pretty Good

Anthony Edwards was selected number one overall in what was called a week draft class. Many fans and analysts were skeptical of if he would be effective. In his first few games he has been exactly that. He makes pull up threes in the face of defenders, shows quality athleticism on the court, and even makes quality passes. He is still very young will make mistakes, but he is displaying he can provide quality minutes. His basketball IQ is higher than others his age, and his decision making will only improve with age. With less than five games played Edwards is averaging 16 points per game and can be expected to increase that number to 20. No one looks for the wolves to be good this season, but Anthony Edwards will be entertaining to keep an eye on as a Rookie of the Year candidate.

LaMelo Ball Has Room to Improve

Lamelo Ball was selected by the Charlotte Hornets at number 3, and by now everyone has heard of him. He shows up on highlight reels and moves the ball extremely well. He clearly has a gift for passing and expert vision. Him being an oversized point guard and determined rebounder are also to his benefit. He looks like a joy to play with and is very entertaining. His shooting is inconsistent and needs to be reworked but that can be common for his age.

The issues with Ball, however, are his defense and excessive passes. The defense everyone knew before the draft and he actually has improved compared to his play in Australia. That leaves his flashy passes. Flashy passes are great but there is a pattern with Lamelo that shows he needs to mature a bit. He makes no look, behind the back passes when they are completely unnecessary. These are aesthetically pleasing but must be driving Coach James Borrego insane. When uncalled for, these are the plays that lead to turnovers. They require more mental and physical effort and in the NBA there is no room for wasted effort. Benching him for the better Terry Rozier is the right move by Borrego, and one that will provide him with observation and time to mature.

(Photo: John Raoux/Associated Press)

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