Michael Carter-Williams, Victor Oladipo

2014 PBT Awards: Rookie of the Year


Though none of us have a ballot for the NBA’s official awards, we’ll be presenting our choices and making our cases this week for each major honor.

Kurt Helin

1. Michael Carter-Williams, Philadelphia 76ers

2. Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic

3. Trey Burke, Utah Jazz

This is pretty clear cut to me — MCW was the best of an underwhelming rookie class (as expected after a down draft). He leads all rookies in scoring (16.6 per game), assists (6.3), rebounding (6.1) and steals (1.9). Yes, things like his jump shot still need work — of course they do, he’s a rookie! All rookies need to develop their game, even ones that spend four years in college. Yes, the Sixers play at a fast pace that helped pad his numbers, he still had the best rookie season out of anyone in this class.

Brett Pollakoff

1. Michael Carter-Williams, Philadelphia 76ers

2. Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic

3. Mason Plumlee, Brooklyn Nets

Michael Carter-Williams has been the most consistent, and has shown a surprising ability to be a triple-double threat when the opportunity is right. Oladipo is the somewhat obligatory second choice, and while there are certainly others who could be argued into third, Plumlee gets my vote for stepping into the Nets’ starting lineup in Kevin Garnett’s absence and admirably holding things down.

Dan Feldman

1. Michael Carter-Williams, Philadelphia 76ers

2. Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic

3. Trey Burke, Utah Jazz

The first two spots were easy to assign, especially No. 1. Carter-Williams rose above the rest of his rookie class on Day 1 and stayed there all season. Burke narrowly edges Plumlee, because I’ve been more impressed with Burke elevating Utah’s offense himself while Plumlee has gone along for the ride with a veteran Nets team.

Dwyane Wade serious as mentor, teaching Justise Winslow post moves

Third day of Miami Heat camp 10/1/2015
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Dwyane Wade has earned his status as an elder statesman, the E.F. Hutton kind of veteran who speaks and everybody listens.

Rookie Justise Winslow is listening.

Winslow (who should have gone higher in this draft) is a perfect fit for the Heat and he’s going to be part of their rotation off the bench from the start of the season (along with Josh McRoberts and Amare Stoudemire). Wade has already fully stepped into the mentor role with Winslow working with him on post moves, reports Jason Lieser at the Palm Beach Post.

“As his career develops, hopefully he’s able to do multiple things on the floor, but right now there’s gonna be certain things (Erik Spoelstra) wants him to do, and some of those things I’m good at,” Wade said. “I’m just passing down knowledge to someone who I think could be good at things that I have strengths at. It’s gonna take a while, but if he figures it out at 21, he’s ahead of the curve. I figured it out at like 27.

“All of us are where we’re at because someone before us helped us. They helped by letting us sit there and watch film with them or having conversations with them. If he’s a student of it and he really wants to know, I’m a pretty decent teacher in certain areas.”

This is what you want out of a veteran leader and some of the young teams out there have done an excellent job adding this kind of mentor — Kevin Garnett in Minnesota may be the best example. Someone who can pass on his wisdom and show the team’s young players how to be a professional and win in the NBA.

It’s a little different for Winslow, he and the Heat are more in a win-now mode, but he should be able to contribute to that.

NBA All-Star, champion Bill Bridges dies at age 76

ATLANTA - 1968:  Bill Bridges#10 of the Atlanta Hawks poses for a portrait circa 1968 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1968 NBAE (Photo by NBA Photo Library/NBAE via Getty Images)

Bill Bridges, a star as a Kansas Jayhawk who went on to have a 12-year NBA career that included being part of the 1975 Golden State Warriors championship team, has passed away, according to the University of Kansas.

Bridges was an undersized power forward at 6’6″ but he was a beast on the boards who averaged 11.9 rebounds a game for his career and more than 13 a game for six straight years at the peak of his career. That 11.9 per game average is still 27th all-time in NBA history.

A New Mexico native, Bridges was a three-time All-Star (all as a member of the Hawks), two-time All-NBA Defensive team, and was part of the 1975 Warriors title team. Besides the Hawks (St. Louis and Atlanta) and Warriors, Bridges played for the Sixers and Lakers.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends.