With the draft just now wrapping up, the NBA playoffs getting started, and the MLB season getting underway as well, I have a lot of stuff on my plate, so I’ll try to address one sport at a time. You unlucky readers get to read me tell you three rookies you should keep an eye out for when watching the 2010 NBA Playoffs play out.
1. Brandon Jennings, Milwaukee Bucks: Playoff stats: 18.7 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 3.3 APG
The Bucks are in the playoffs? Yep. And they’re contending. Even with center Andrew Bogut out after his nasty injury, the Bucks are tied 2-2 with the Hawks- primarily thanks to this rookie. Jennings has scored in double digits in three of the four games, highlighted by a monstrous 34 point effort in their game 1 loss. Jennings has been money for the Bucks all year, and I would not be the least bit surprised if he carries this team into round two or further.
2. Ty Lawson, PG Denver Nuggets: Playoff stats: 7.8 PPG, 2.5 APG, 1.3 RPG
Lawson, the heralded rookie PG out of North Carolina, has made a moderate impact on the Nuggets this season, backing up the veteran Chauncey Billups and averaging 8.3 PPG along with 3.1 assists during the regular season. Four games into their first round series with the Utah Jazz, Lawson is putting up some pretty impressive rookie playoff numbers, scoring 11 points and dishing out 6 assists in the Nuggets game 1 (and only) win.
3. Dejaun Blair, PF, San Antonio Spurs Playoff Stats: 3.3 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 0.8 APG
Hey! Don’t let those miniscule playoff averages run you off just yet! Spurs coach Greg Popovich seems to be wary of putting too much trust in rookies during the playoffs, as Blair has seen his season average of 18.2 minutes fractioned to a rather disappointing 8.8 in the playoffs. Blair looked excellent in game 4 of the Spurs’ series with the Mavs, scoring 7, bringing in 7 boards- 5 of which were offensive rebounds- and tallying a single steal, assist, and rebound in 12 minutes. If you watched the game, you saw the scrappy rookie help the Spurs edge out a solid lead while Duncan couldn’t seem to generate any rhythm.