Last week: 1For the sake of the rankings, it would really be fun to make someone other than Simmons No. 1 ... but it's just impossible. Simmons' averages this week approached a triple-double, and he shot 52 percent from the floor. Not to mention that Simmons is doing something almost no other top rookie (with one big exception chasing him) is doing -- winning. The Sixers went 2-1 last week and are 8-6 on the season, while Simmons' near quad-double of 19 points, nine rebounds, 10 assists and five steals against the Lakers was overshadowed by his teammate's 46-point performance. With a +7.8 net rating, Simmons reigns supreme for the third straight week.
Stats this week: 17.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, 7.3 assists
Last week: 2Another week, another series of solid performances from Tatum, who has become as predictable as the Celtics winning every game that they play. Tatum bounced back from the first injury of his career, a tweaked ankle suffered last Wednesday, and continued his usual production in four Boston wins. After struggling early against the Warriors , Tatum bounced back and hit two late free throws to seal the win for the best team in the NBA.
Stats this week: 15.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.0 steals
Last week: 8Mitchell impressed in his first full week as a starter after coach Quin Snyder decided to bump Rodney Hood to the bench. Mitchell flourished as a scorer, but more importantly improved his efficiency this week, raising his shooting numbers to 48.5 percent on field goals and 34.6 percent on 3-pointers after a rough start to his career in that department. It looks like Mitchell is going to be Utah's starting shooting guard for the foreseeable future, and he appears to be up to the task.
Stats this week: 20.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.8 steals
Last week: 4Smith led all rookies in scoring for the second straight week, but he continues to have problems with efficiency and taking care of the ball. He averaged four turnovers per game this week and shot 43 percent from the field, but the thing that had Mavericks fans salivating was his 3-point shooting. Smith shot 39 percent for the week, including a 5-of-11 performance against the gritty Spurs defense en route to a career-high 27 points. With his freakish athleticism, Smith is going to be a huge problem for opposing teams if he can start consistently making 3s.
Stats this week: 21.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists
Last week: 3Larry Nance Jr. may never get his starting job back with the way that Kuzma is playing. His efficiency dropped a bit this week as he shot 45 percent from the field, but his 3-point accuracy remained steady at 36 percent. Kuzma put up a career-high 24 points against the Sixers on national TV and continues to make Lakers fans happy that they at least have one reliable rookie.
Stats this week: 18.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists
Last week: 9Brooks had his best week yet, and that's saying something for a rookie who's had a great start to his career. The 21-year-old matched a career high with 19 points against the Bucks on Wednesday, and shot 56 percent from the field while averaging less than a turnover a game for the week. The Grizzlies are in a bit of a funk, so his plus/minus numbers don't look great, but Brooks has continued to look like one of the league's best rookies.
Stats this week: 13.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals
Last week: UnrankedA newcomer to the rankings, Anunoby made two starts in place of the injured Norman Powell and made the most of them. His breakout performance came in a win at Houston in which he scored 16 points while making 3-of-4 3-pointers, all while holding James Harden to mere mortal numbers. His true shooting percentage of 84.1 was by far tops among rookies over his last three games. Anunoby has been a valuable part of the Raptors' rotation all season, and he finally got the playing time to showcase his two-way talent this week.
Stats this week: 9.3 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals
Last week: 7Just when you're about to drop Lonzo from the rankings, he goes and becomes the youngest player ever to record a triple-double. The fact that Ball's percentages this week of 35.5 from the field and 26.7 from 3 are improvements tells you all you need to know about his scoring woes so far this season. But his 19-point, 12 rebound, 13 assist performance in Milwaukee can't be overlooked, despite the fact that he was benched for the fourth quarter of both the Lakers' subsequent games. Lonzo's on thin ice when it comes to these rankings, but the ability is clearly there -- now he just needs to get more consistent.
Stats this week: 9.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 6.7 assists
Last week: 5The burden of being the Bulls ' primary scorer appears to be catching up to Markkanen, as he continues to flounder after a remarkable start to his career. His shooting waned this week (44 percent field goals, 29 percent 3-pointers), as the Bulls continue their losing ways. The return of Bobby Portis to the lineup may eventually be a good thing for Markkanen, so we'll see if his numbers bounce back in coming weeks.
Stats this week: 11.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.0 blocks
Last week: 10French Frank's stats across the board continue to underwhelm, but his net rating was by far the highest among rookies at 13.4 while leading the Knicks to a 2-1 record this week (would have been 3-0 were it not for a LeBron takeover against the Cavs). Ntilikina's positive impact has much to do with his defense -- he became the first Knicks rookie since Mark Jackson in 1987 to register at least six steals in a game, and his defensive rating for the week (97.4) was second only to Tatum.
Stats this week: 5.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 3.3 steals