NBA Roundtable

ASG: Rookie vs Sophomore Squads

In General NBA on January 28, 2010 at 7:45 am

RealGM has the press release

Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans lead a list of 18 players selected for the 2010 T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam to be held on Friday, Feb. 12 in Dallas during NBA All-Star 2010.The participants in the Rookie Challenge were selected by the NBA’s assistant coaches, with each team submitting one ballot.

Joining Rose on the Sophomore team are Miami Heat forward Michael Beasley, Los Angeles Clippers guard Eric Gordon, Minnesota Timberwolves forward/center Kevin Love, New Jersey Nets center Brook Lopez, New York Knicks forward Danilo Gallinari, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, and a pair of teammates from the Memphis Grizzlies – center Marc Gasol and guard O.J. Mayo.

Forward Omri Casspi, Evans’ teammate in Sacramento, joins him on the Rookie team, which also includes Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson, Detroit Pistons forward Jonas Jerebko, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings, Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jonny Flynn, Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden, and San Antonio forward/center DeJuan Blair.

So the squads are:

Rookie Team

List of players

  • G – Brandon Jennings
  • G – Tyreke Evans
  • G – Stephen Curry
  • G – James Harden
  • G – Jonny Flynn
  • G/F – Omri Casspi
  • F – Jonas Jerebko
  • F/C – Taj Gibson
  • F/C – DeJuan Blair

How strong is the team?

It’s a fairly poor squad. They’ll lose by a large margin to the Sophomore squad (as usual).

The team is strong in the backcourt. A couple of good point guards in Steph Curry and Brandon Jennings, both of whom should look very good in this type of a contest. The combo guard Tyreke Evans who is the best player on the team and arguably the best player on either roster. And the multi-skilled James Harden.

The rest of the squad doesn’t offer much. DeJuan Blair and Omri Casspi are excellent complementary players. Gibson is alright. Jonas Jerebko is a utility player who’ll cover holes.

Any noteworthy omissions?

Jonny Flynn doesn’t deserve to be on the team. Outside of him, I have no real complaints. Flynn is one of only eight players to get 1,000 minutes and all eight have been selected. He’s at the game principally because he’s played more minutes than most of the others.

I would have liked to have seen Hasheem Thabeet in the game. I think he’s played well (good defense, very good rebounding, and good garbage man play offensively) when he’s gotten the opportunity. He just hasn’t gotten many minutes (only 434 minutes) because he’s playing behind a very talented player in Marc Gasol and because he got off to a slow start.

Ty Lawson also has a very strong case. He’s done a very good job for Denver this season (9.2ppg in 22mpg on 59% true shooting).

DeMar DeRozan isn’t all that deserving but he’s been slightly more effective than Flynn so he deserves a mention.

I would have liked to have seen (1) Thabeet (2) Lawson (3) DeRozan get selected instead of Jonny Flynn + Jonas Jerebko. Probably Thabeet and DeRozan in order to balance out the roster.

Sophomore Team

A list of the players

  • G – Derrick Rose
  • G – Russell Westbrook
  • G – Eric Gordon
  • G – OJ Mayo
  • F – Danilo Gallinari
  • F – Michael Beasley
  • F/C – Kevin Love
  • C – Brook Lopez
  • C – Marc Gasol

How strong is the team?

Physically, they’re huge, both down low in the paint and out on the perimeter at their guard spots. They’ll have a big advantage with their muscle. They’ll be able to beat up the rookies in the post and on the backboards. They also have more defensive talent and win the battle there too.

All in all, they’re just a far superior basketball team.

Any noteworthy omissions?

Jason Thompson was more deserving than Michael Beasley.

The squad lacks another wing but I don’t think there was anyone more deserving than currently on the team that they could have chosen.

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute – Courtney Lee – Brandon Rush – Chris Douglas Roberts – Sonny Weems –

I could go for Mbah a Moute over Beasley because it provide better balance for the rest of the team but I think Thompson was more deserving than him. So, outside of Beasley for Thompson, I have no issues with the selections.

  1. Rookie squad isn’t just weak – it’s bad! Not a strong class of players.

    Suggested changes make sense – but the rookie team would still suck big time.

    Sophs have some talent – no problems with the picks.

    Not sure just how “exciting” these two teams will be to watch?

  2. I’m not a fan of the rookie-sophomore game. It’s always a lousy event. One team is routinely much stronger than the other and neither team plays with much intensity/effort/competitiveness.

    I thought it was a lot more interesting when it was East vs West rookies only. I wish they’d switch it back to that.

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