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NBA Rookie Ranking: Paolo Panchero shines against the Celtics. Keegan Murray gets the series defensive player

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In this week’s edition of the NBA Rookie Rankings, we get a stellar first-choice performance against one of the best teams in the East, an Atlanta bottom-role player cementing his place in the rotation on a team that needs every bit of his contribution and the steady rise of a rookie in Sacramento.

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But before we get into the top five from last week, we have to give a special shout out to Jalen Duren from… pistons. He leads all rookies in rebounds per game (8.2), despite being only recently included in the starting lineup at the beginning of this month. The big 6-10 guy has become a powerhouse for Detroit on defense, and now that he’s getting started, it’s only a matter of time before he ends up in one of those spots below.

Now it’s time to analyze this week’s rookie rankings. Keep in mind that these ratings will only reflect the rookie’s performance on a weekly basis, not the collegiate season. These are not the Rookie of the Year rankings, but rather a reflection of what the player has done over the past week.

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Banchero has unpacked the Boston Celtics Last week en route to a performance of 31 points and a win Orlando Magic. Even though the Celtics were without Jayson Tatum, no one could have thought the Magic would win that game, yet Banchero went to TD Garden and added another standout performance to his already rookie resume.

No matter who the Celtics put up against Panchiro, they certainly tried to give him a different look over the course of the game. He did not falter once in his approach. As Robert Williams III set in on the Banshero, the rookie pulled the big man away from the basket, showed his handle and drained several seconds.

As good a defender as Williams can be, Panchero really exposed his perimeter defense, forcing Boston to send a different defender to Panchero. Al Horford has made life harder for Banchero, but the rookie still gets to the spots he wants with relative ease. He ended up scoring 10 points over Malcolm Brogdon, seven points over Williams and six points over Horford, which goes to show how difficult it is for Boston to contain despite having the seventh-most defense in the league.

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You can really see that Murray has become more comfortable in attack, and in general, the Kings The chemistry was clicking really well, which could have results like a 134-120 win over the Lakers Wednesday. Four Sacramento players scored more than 20 points, Murray was one of them after he finished with 23 points on 6-of-12 from deep. Murray relishes the great passes he gets from the likes of De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis, and in turn drops those three points. After that effective performance against the Lakers, Murray now leads all rookies in 3-point percentage at 38.6 percent on the season. He is also the only rookie to attempt six games in one game.

Murray finished that Lakers game the team’s highest-scoring game, and after the impressive win, Kings coach Mike Brown said the rookie had a defensive player of the game. Brown noted that Murray is in the right place in terms of defense and charging, which is a testament to his ability in both directions. Although Murray did not get as much attention as some of his other fellow juniors, he was an influential piece in the winning Kings side.

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Although it came in the loss, Ivey had a 30-point outing against Utah JazzAnd while that feat alone is impressive for a rookie, the proficiency with it makes it even better. He’s only shot 42.1 percent from the field and 30.8 percent from 3-point range this season, but against the Jazz he shot 71.4 percent from the field and connected on each of his 3-pointers.

Since Cade Cunningham went down with a season-ending injury, Ivey has had more of a go-ahead for the Pistons, but he’s led to some ineffective shooting nights, such as a 2-for-9 outing against the Kings in the beginning of the game. week. But he followed that up with two incredibly effective nights that also included a 7-for-11 night against networks. Ivey will have ample opportunity the rest of the way this season to work on his game and get his shots. But the hope for the Pistons is that he’ll be able to build on that proficiency and by the end of the season he’ll be a more consistent scorer. Last week has certainly shown that he can do it on a small scale. We’ll have to see if it can continue.

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Griffin didn’t win the whistle game this week. Well, actually there was this three-hit pointer to end the first quarter against the Magic that the rookie drilled:

As Griffin said last week, this is starting to happen more and more frequently, so I guess that’s just an expected trait of hawk Rookie to move forward. Regardless, Griffin finished that game with 19 points and seven rebounds off the bench and finished with a plus-15 for the Hawks in a close win. Griffin’s sense of the game and the confidence with which he plays are notable traits for the 19-year-old, and he’s become a reliable option for Atlanta off the bench. He was primarily throwing 3s for Atlanta when he was called up. But every so often we’ll play a couple like this where he dissects the Orlando defense and puts the ball high enough out of Mo Bamba’s slender hands:

Or this perched above steely defender Franz Wagner, where Griffin shows he can do more than just be a shooter:

The Falcons have needed every bit of Griffin’s production this season, and for a rookie to rise to that challenge on a team with high playoff aspirations is showing he isn’t afraid of the moment.

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Mathurin had a rebounding streak a week earlier that saw him go up 3 points after several solid games. However, he struggled again from behind the arc this week, shooting just 25 percent from depths. While Mathurin experiences the ebbs and flows of the NBA season with his shooting, what has remained consistent is Mathurin’s effort, especially on defense, even when his shots aren’t falling.

He’s already shown flashes of being a solid defender in this league, and he certainly doesn’t shy away from any tough defensive duties. This week he took on guard Jason Tatum, and while the All-Star forward is still down 41 points, Mathurin had possessions as he made things at least a little difficult for Tatum. He did a good job staying in touch with Tatum and recovering around the screens when the Celtics tried to get Mathurin away from him. It’s a good sign that Mathurin can influence a game in other ways even when his shots aren’t falling, and that was on display against the Celtics this week.

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