The 2011 NBA draft produced a surprisingly strong rookie class. I don’t think anyone will quibble with the pick of Kyrie Irving of the Cavs as rookie of the year. But the task of selecting an All Rookie team is a difficult one. You can actually look at the team three ways: 1) by actual position (PG, SG, SF, PF, C); 2) picking two guards, two forwards, one center; or 3) picking the five best rookies, regardless of position. Given those three options, here are my three teams:
Five Best Rookies, No Position
Kyrie Irving, Cavs – 18.8 ppg, 5.7 apg.
Klay Thompson, Warriors – 11.5 ppg, 43 percent on three-pointers
Kenneth Faried, Nuggets – So beastly. 10 ppg, 7.5 rpg on 58 percent shooting in 40 games. They don’t miss Nene.
Iman Shumpert, Knicks – Probably will make 2nd team NBA All-Defense.
Ricky Rubio, Wolves – Only played 41 games, but averaged 10.6 ppg, 8.2 apg (6th in the NBA), 2.2 spg (3rd in the NBA).
Gs/Fs/C … 1st Team ….. 2nd Team ….. 3rd Team
G – Irving …. Shumpert ….. Brandon Knight, Pistons
G – Rubio …. Thompson ….. Isaiah Thomas, Kings (narrowly over Marshon Brooks)
F – Faried ….. Kawhi Leonard, Spurs …. Markieef Morris, Suns
F – Chandler Parsons, Rockets … Derrick Williams, Wolves …. Bismack Biyombo, Bobcats
C – Tristan Thompson, Cavaliers …. Gustavo Ayon, Hornets …. Nikola Vucevic, 76ers
PG – Irving
SG – Thompson. Narrowly over Shumpert.
SF – Parsons. Narrowly over Derrick Williams
PF – Faried
C – Thompson