With the NBA regular season nearing its conclusion, we here at “Sir Charles in Charge” have decided the time is right to start handing out some end-of-year hardware to those around the league who have stood out amongst the pack and performed at the highest level in the National Basketball Association this year.
Over the next few days, we will be giving you our selections for all of the major NBA awards (Most Improved, Coach, Defensive Player, 6th Man, Rookie, Most Valuable Player). I as Editor of “Sir Charles in Charge” have received nominations and votes from fellow staff writers as well as loyal readers of the site for all of the awards.
The results are in. For day 5 of our SCIC awards, we give you our selection for the NBA Rookie of the Year.
2nd runner-up: Sacramento Kings guard Isaiah Thomas
2011-12 statistics: 11.5 points, 2.6 rebounds, 4.0 assists
How about a little love for the man who was picked dead last in the 2011 NBA draft everyone.
Selected with the 30th pick in the 2nd round, not much was to be expected out of the 5’9 point guard out of Washington University. His small stature and terrible draft position made many believe that he would have little to no future in the National Basketball Association.
In one of the more unheralded and unexpected stories of 2012, Thomas has emerged out of nowhere and stepped in to the starting line-up to be the Kings point guard of the future. He’s extremely efficient with the basketball as evident by his 1.6 turnovers a game. That’s a tremendous number for a rookie starter in the NBA. His transition into the starting point guard role has freed up franchise player Tyreke Evans to move over to his more natural shooting guard position.
His 11.5 points a game also ranks him 6th amongst all rookies in scoring this season.
Everyone loves an underdog story. It doesn’t get much better than Isaiah Thomas.
1st runner-up: Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio
2011-12 statistics: 10.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 8.2 assists
We here at “Sir Charles in Charge” are not going to hold Rubio’s injury against him in this years Rookie of the Year race. Despite being out of action since early March, Ricky Rubio has still been the second best rookie in the NBA for 2012.
Rubio took the league by storm during the first few months of the season with his highlight-reel passes and superb dribbling ability for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Much of this came as a surprise to the basketball world as Ricky was never much of a standout player while playing for FC Barcelona.
Despite the skepticism early on, Rubio quickly made a believer out of all of his doubters, including yours truly. His 8.2 assists leads all rookies and is 6th overall in the entire league.
Rubio and all-star Kevin Love have Timberwolves fans talking playoffs for the first time since the Kevin Garnett era.
and the winner of the first ever SCIC award for the NBA Rookie of the Year is….
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving
2011-12 statistics: 18.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists
Well…..Irving certainly shut me up.
After only playing 11 games for the Duke Blue Devils in College, I just couldn’t grasp why so many experts had Irving as the next great point guard in the NBA. How could you possibly judge a mans potential after a measly 11 games?
I was horribly mistaken. Irving truly is the next big thing at the point guard position. He actually had the Cavaliers treading water and playing .500 basketball early on in the season. The Cavaliers already have more wins this year (21) than they did all of 2010-11 (19).
Irving leads all rookies in scoring with 18.7 points a game and is a full 6 points ahead of the second-ranked Brandon Knight (12.7). He also ranks 2nd in assists (5.5) and is third in three-point shooting (40%).
Irving isn’t Lebron James, but Kyrie is the building block the Cavaliers need to help turn around their franchise.
Honorable Mentions: Warriors guard Klay Thompson, Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, Nets guard Marshon Brooks, Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried
Joe Nardone picks 5) Chandler Parsons 4) Klay Thompson 3) Isaiah Thomas 2) Kawhi Leonard 1) Kyrie Irving
John Armstrong picks 5) Norris Cole 4) Marshon Brooks 3) Kawhi Leonard 2) Isaiah Thomas 1) Kyrie Irving
Chris Walder picks 5) Kenneth Faried 4) Marshon Brooks 3) Isaiah Thomas 2) Ricky Rubio 1) Kyrie Irving
Readers (after tally) 5) Marshon Brooks 4) Klay Thompson 3) Isaiah Thomas 2) Ricky Rubio 1) Kyrie Irving
Coming tomorrow: SCIC award for NBA Most Valuable Player
Christopher Walder is a sports blogger and lead editor for Sir Charles in Charge. You may follow him on Twitter @WalderSports