The two best rookie seasons in the last three years that didn’t result in an All-Rookie first-team selection belong to Detroit Pistons.
Two years after Greg Monroe was ridiculously relegated to the All-Rookie second team, Andre Drummond received a similar – though slightly less egregious – fate.
Drummond and Kyle Singler made the 2012-13 All-Rookie second team, a nice honor for Singler (whom I had on my All-Rookie second team as the recipient of a wide-open race for the final spot), but a real sham for Drummond.
I get that Drummond, due to injury and Lawrence Frank’s stubbornness, didn’t play enough to contend for Rookie of the Year, and that should count against him here, too. But Drummond still saw the court enough to lead all rookies in offensive rebounds. That’s right. Drummond – who ranked 18th among rookies in minutes, 23rd in starts and 28th in games – still grabbed more offensive rebounds than any member of this rookie class.
These awards should be selected by impact, and though Drummond’s impact was muted by his playing-time restraints, he was so good while on the court, he belonged on the first team. He rarely turned the ball over and rarely missed shots, an efficiency combination which should have boosted a candidacy that was already strong thanks to his defensive bona fides and skills on the glass.
Instead, voters used the same tired criteria as usual.
Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Anthony Davis, Dion Waiters and Harrisons Barnes.
Is that the All-Rookie first team or the five rookies who scored the most points per game? Doesn’t matter. The list is identical.
I doubt NBA coaches are this rote – though, they might be – so it’s more likely they just don’t care about properly selecting these teams. (And I don’t really blame them. They have far more important responsibilities. This does not belong in their hands.) It also wasn’t an anti-Pistons conspiracy, considering Brandon Knight received an undeserving first-team nod last season.
Really, these awards don’t mean much, and though I tell myself that, I still get a little worked up about them.
I just hope Joe Dumars has a better grasp of his three most valuable players than the voting coaches do.
NBA All-Rookie voting
Reminder: layers are selected regardless of position.
Player, Team: points (first-second)
- Damian Lillard, Portland: 58 (29-0)
- Bradley Beal, Washington: 57 (28-1)
- Anthony Davis, New Orleans : 57 (28-1)
- Dion Waiters, Cleveland: 50 (21-8)
- Harrison Barnes, Golden State: 47 (18-11)
- Andre Drummond, Detroit: 35 (10-15)
- Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto: 31 (6-19)
- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte: 29 (3-23)
- Kyle Singler, Detroit: 17 (1-15)
- Tyler Zeller, Cleveland: 15 (3-9)
Also receiving votes
- Maurice Harkless, Orlando: 14 (1-12)
- Alexey Shved, Minnesota: 14 (1-12)
- Chris Copeland, New York: 9 (1-7)
- Brian Roberts, New Orleans: 5 (0-5)
- Andrew Nicholson, Orlando: 4 (0-4)
- Jae Crowder, Dallas: 1 (0-1)
- Festus Ezeli, Golden State: 1 (0-1)
- Draymond Green, Golden State: 1 (0-1)
- John Jenkins, Atlanta: 1 (0-1)
- Terrence Jones, Houston: 1 (0-1)
- Pablo Prigioni, New York: 1 (0-1)
- Terrence Ross, Toronto: 1 (0-1)
- Jeff Taylor, Charlotte: 1 (0-1)
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