Offensive Rookie of the Year: Derrick Rose
Proved to be a dynamic scorer throughout the season (16.6 points per game), mixing in incredible drives to the hoop and a much-better-than-expected midrange game. He's almost impossible to stay in front of.
All-Rookie First Team
Derrick Rose, Bulls: Among rookies, he is second in scoring and minutes per game and first in assists (6.2). He was handed a ton of responsibility immediately and handled it all with grace and professionalism. And though he went No. 1 overall, he probably exceeded the expectations of most people.
Russell Westbrook, Thunder: Only rookie to rank in the top 10 among rookies in scoring (15.5), rebounding (4.8) and assists (5.1). He is also second in steals and first in free throws made and attempted. He willed his team to some terrific wins and showed incredible promise.
O.J. Mayo, Grizzlies: First among rookies in scoring (18.4) and minutes (38.0), and is already considered one of the league's top jump-shooters. He also competes hard on defense and appears to be very professional.
Kevin Love, Timberwolves: Already one of the league's top rebounders, he is competing with Speights for the rookie PER crown. He is also a smart interior defender and should be a strong starter for years to come.
Brook Lopez, Nets: He's been nothing short of a revelation. One of the top free-throw shooting centers in basketball, he is an excellent scorer, rebounder and shot-blocker. He has been probably the most productive rookie of the class, and he can become a cornerstone center, which is one of the most valuable positions.
Rookie Top 50 (this is from March, oops) -
March 25, 2009
Rose is enjoying a solid month while experiencing the pressure of having to help the Bulls clinch a playoff spot. He carried his team to a win in Oklahoma City recently with a big second half, showing off his improved jump shot. In March, his scoring numbers are up (16.5 ppg, his second-highest average for a month) and his minutes are up (39.5 mpg, his highest this season), but his assists are down to 5.4 apg (a season-low). Also of note, Rose has made only two 3-pointers on 26 attempts in 2009, after making 14 of 42 through Dec. 31.
And just in case you need a smile today: