Showtime is back!
OK, well maybe not quite yet — but it’s back for this week’s edition of the NBA Rookie Power Rankings, where purple and gold paint two of the top three spots. It’s only fitting that in the week that Kobe Bryant’s jersey is hung from the Staples Center rafters, Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball give Lakers fans a glimpse of what the future could hold.
Meanwhile Utah’s Donovan Mitchell, No. 1 for the last two weeks, took a tumble down to No. 5 as his production continued to drop. Ben Simmons and Jayson Tatum remained steady in the top five, while a surprise entrant from the Nuggets came out of nowhere to claim a spot.
Enjoy the holidays with the latest edition of the NBA Rookie Power Rankings.
Kyle Kuzma Los Angeles Lakers PF
|Last week: No. 5
Stats this week: 31.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists
Kuzmania is alive and well in La La Land. The Lakers only had two games, but they were against the best of the West, and possibly the entire NBA — the Warriors and Rockets . Kuzma scored 25 in an overtime loss to the Warriors, and followed that up with a historic game in a huge win over the Rockets — he became the first rookie to ever score 38 points in a game with seven or more made 3-pointers while shooting 70 percent from the field. In the two games combined, he shot 67 percent and made 11 of his 16 3-point attempts. No rookie might have a better week the entire season, so Kuzma was the easy pick for the No. 1 spot. And with confidence like showed at the end of this interview after his 38-point game, he might be back on top sooner rather than later.