If you’re wondering what players you can expect to see at the NBA All Star Rookie Challenge on February 24, 2012, you can bet on at least two – Ricky Rubio of the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers. These two young guys are undoubtedly the best rookies in the NBA today, and are making the very most of their first season.
Ricky Rubio has put up some amazing numbers for any rookie in the league, working the backcourt along with Luke Ridnour. Rubio is in second place for the rookie to have the most total number of steals in the league and is the first rookie overall in total assists on the board. Along with those stats, Rubio has also had 108 assists in 13 games, and let’s not forget that those games are the only ones he’s ever played in the NBA. And if that’s not enough for you, only five players overall have ever had more than that in the league, showing that Ricky Rubio has tremendous talent and a great deal of promise for the Timberwolves.
Meanwhile over in Cleveland, Kyrie Irving is doing big things for the Cavaliers. Irving’s stats all the way across the board continue to climb up, up, and up — but it’s his shooting percentages that are particularly impressive. During his last five games, Irving has made over 50% of his shots, and he only has two games behind him where his percentage was less than 42%. Those are good numbers for any point guard, but for a rookie? Nearly unheard of. Just compare where the Cavaliers were this time last year (5-8) and where they are now (6-7,) and you can see the difference Irving has made to this team.