Quick Links

NBA Rookie of the Year Rankings: Is Simmons still the front-runner?

mitchell-roty1-usatsi.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

NBA Rookie of the Year Rankings: Is Simmons still the front-runner?

Almost two months have gone by since the start of the 2017-18 NBA season and there have been plenty of surprises surrounding the rookies around the league.

Heading into the season, there was a lot of hype behind the current draft class. The Sixers had the first overall pick and they drafted Markelle Fultz with the idea that the guard would help make the team a playoff contender. Fast forward to December and Fultz has only played in four total games because of a shoulder injury.

Meanwhile, Lonzo Ball, the second overall pick in the draft, has had a lackluster season topped off with really poor shooting. Ball had a lot of hype coming into the league because of his collegiate success at UCLA and because of his dad, who most people probably already know about.

RELATED: CHECK OUT OUR NBA ROTY RANKINGS

While Fultz and Ball haven't exactly taken the league by storm, several other rookies have emerged as stars on their respective teams. 

There are guys like Donovan Mitchell and Jayson Tatum, who as rookies have already taken up roles as key scorers for the Jazz and Celtics. These are players who have consistently made an impact for their teams.

Then there are guys like John Collins and Lauri Markkanen, who didn't receive much attention before the draft, but have developed into potental stars who their teams can build around in the future.

One special case is point guard Ben Simmons, the "rookie" who's played like a superstar with the Sixers all season. Even though he missed the entire 2016-17 season with a foot injury, Simmons has taken the league by storm with his incredible athleticism and court sense.

It would have been easy to call Simmons the best rookie in the league a month ago, but now that isn't so clear. Plenty of other rookies have made their case for the honor during these last couple of weeks and that's made the season all the more entertaining.

Still the question remains, with all these talented players running around, who's the best rookie in the league? Here's our current prediction for which players will be the front-runners in the 2017-18 NBA Rookie of the Year race.

Quick Links

Marcin Gortat lifts Bradley Beal in air for dunk

usatsi_10365344.jpg
USA Today Sports

Marcin Gortat lifts Bradley Beal in air for dunk

Basketball is a team sport and teammates should always be there for each other.

Before the Wizards took on the Timberwolves on Tuesday night, center Marcin Gortat thought it would be a great idea to help out teammate Bradley Beal during pregame warmups.

As Beal went up for a windmill dunk, Gortat gave the shooting guard an impressive boost in mid-air.

While the dunk was great and would probably get a 10 at the dunk contest, the two probably won't be able to do something that creative in a game.

Still it's great to see these two teammates work together. Things like this could translate into better chemistry on the court. Either way, Beal was definitely thankful for the boost. 

RELATED: BEAL DOESN'T CARE FOR THE NBA'S LAST TWO MINUTE REPORTS

Quick Links

Tim Frazier and Tomas Satoransky step up in John Wall's absence, despite loss to Blazers

frazier-lillard-usatsi.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Tim Frazier and Tomas Satoransky step up in John Wall's absence, despite loss to Blazers

BY JUAN HERRERA

With John Wall out, the Wizards needed players off the bench to step up against the Trail Blazers on Saturday night.

Although the result wasn't in the Wizards' favor, both Tim Frazier and Tomas Satoransky gave Washington some much needed energy at point guard.

Frazier had the task of directly filling-in for Wall as a starter and he finished the game with a season-high 11 points along with two assists and three rebounds. 

He looked comfortable throughout the game and did a solid job on the defensive side against Portland's Damian Lillard. Still, Frazier stressed a need to distribute the ball better to the players who need it.

"As a point guard you have to find the hot hand," Frazier said. "Otto [Porter] did a tremendous job for us in the third. He got hot and we got to go on from there."

RELATED: MORRIS SEES A LOT OF HIMSELF IN TEAMMATE 

Satoransky also provided a solid push off the bench. The 6-foot-7 point guard had four points and four assists in 15 minutes against the Trail Blazers.

With Wall suddenly out, Satoransky wasn't overwhelmed by the team's need to give him an increased role at point guard.

"Being on the court and in this position, I think I feel comfortable and hopefully I can get some more games to catch the rhythm," Satoranksy said. 

If both players can keep up the energy during the seven or eight game stretch Wall will be out, the Wizards should be in good shape offensively.

RELATED: JOHN WALL OUT TWO WEEKS AFTER KNEE PROCEDURES

The Wizards will have two days to get the taste of Saturday's loss to Portland out of their mouths. Frazier is already looking forward to stepping back on the court.

"I want to go out there and try to be wherever I can for the team to win," Frazier said.