Blogtable: Rooks vs. Sophs

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

We know it’s just an exhibition in L.A., but last year’s rookies beat the Sophs; can this year’s rooks beat last year’s

Steve Aschburner::Of course they can. If Blake Griffin can singlehandedly revive the “other” L.A. franchise and make the Clippers must-see TV, anything is possible. There’s a turncoat factor to his spot on the Rookies roster, though – he was drafted with the guys on the Sophomores squad – so the second-year players won’t want to get shown up by one of their own. Best strategy: Have big men Serge Ibaka or Taj Gibson whisper into DeMarcus Cousins’ ear that all those alley-oop passes to Griffin ought to be going to Cousins.

Fran Blinebury: Two names: John Wall and Blake Griffin.  It’s not every year that the Rookies get a pair of No.1 overall picks playing on their team and the pitch-and-catch tandem should produce some fireworks and a win.

Art Garcia: Two words: Blake Griffin. The should-be-sophomore gives the rooks an All-Star advantage, though on paper the second-year guys have too much depth and too much scoring. Stephen Curry, Brandon Jennings, Wesley Matthews and last year’s Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evens may be more than the newcomers can handle. But, again, the rooks have the BlakeShow. I predict a few dunks are in order.

Scott Howard-Cooper: Pretty desperate for a third question, I see. OK then, clearly the sophs have an advantage. Most have been in this pressure-packed environment before, and several played together in the 2010 showdown in Dallas. I’d hate to be the rookies trying to overcome those tremendous odds. Lots of pressure on soph coaches Lawrence Frank, Carmelo Anthony and Steve Kerr to keep that one-game win streak going.

Shaun Powell: You know when a draft is lacking when you must really reach back to remember who went where. With few exceptions, one being John Wall, this year’s class does almost nothing for me; of course, that could change in another year or two. But not by Saturday. So what should we expect to see at Staples Center? In a town that’s all about show business, there might be more interest in the celebrity game. I predict Justin Bieber will lead all players in squeals.

John Schuhmann: I think the Rookies have the talent to win the game, but it’s so hard to pick against the Sophomores, because they almost always take the game more seriously. This Sophomore team has five guys (Blair, Gibson, Holiday, Ibaka and Matthews) who are contributors on playoff teams and a sixth (Jennings) who started on a playoff team last season. So I think they’ll play just enough defense to win the game.

Sekou Smith: Of course, the rookies can win again this year. Blake Griffin and John Wall on the same team is worth the price of admission alone. But the sophomores have either seen, heard or experienced Griffin’s above-the-rim routine already. And Wall’s not as polished as most of us wish he was.So I could see the sophs going at this crop of rookies and making an example of them.

12 Comments

  1. TrueChampionsDontLeaveTown says:

    I don’t see the Sophs winning unless Jennings scores over 30pts. The Rooks will completely over power the “little” guys. Griffin, Cousins, and Favours will clean up any missed shots and John Wall will feel like he’s back in College with over powering forwards to pass to. Actually…this might get ugly.

    That said, I agree with Brett…this will be Jrue Holiday’s coming out party. His game has improved tremenously.

    • QuestionMark says:

      You forget the Sophs have Blair who grabbed 20 boards last R vs S game. Also the Sophs got too much depth, Jennings, Curry, Derozan, and Matthews all averaging more than 15ppg this season, and also there is Ibaka a solid defender, Taj Gibson who is a solid rebounder. Rookies only have the Blake-Show, John Wall, and Demarcus Cousins who are solid, Favors havent played up to the standards that a 4th pick should play like.

  2. My Music says:

    Sophomores will have a better chance of winning . They have more depth. Almost all of them have the caliber to win the MVP. While the rookies only have Blake, Wall, Fields and whom? But if we look into it closely the rookies still have the potential in their rooster. They have Cousins, if he could work with Griffin well down low, who can create havoc with the sophomores big men, in which the sophs currently lacking. And we should not forget Gary Neal who could give the rookies a scoring boost.

  3. Athena says:

    THEY ARE MISSING ONE MORE KEY PLAYER…LANDRY FIELDS!!!! HE CAN SCORE THE ROCK AND REBOUND…(LEADS ALL NBA GUARDS IN REBOUNDING) EVERYONE IS ALWAYS TALKING ABOUT BLAKE GRIFFIN (WHO ISN’T REALLY A ROOKIE) AND JOHN WALL (WHO HAS BEEN INJURED HALF THE SEASON). LANDRY FIELDS HAVE BEEN CONSISTENT AND PUTS UP GOOD NUMBERS FOR A WINNING TEAM!! DON’T GET ME WRONG JOHN WALL AND BLAKE GRIFFIN ARE REALLY GOOD PLAYERS BUT YOU HAVE TO REALIZE THAT OUT ALL THE TOP ROOKIES THIS YEAR ONLY ONE IS ON A WINNING TEAM,,,AND HE IS ALSO ONE OF THE REASONS THE KNICKS ARE WINNING!!!

  4. Joe says:

    Yeah, in terms of depth, the sophomores have far move to them than the rooks but as well as having Blake & Wall, with Cousins being mentioned, too, you have Landry Fields who, from what i’ve seen this year, is a very fine player. He might not be the flair and exciting player quite as much as other guys but the guy does everything very well & has one of the smartest, young basketball brains around, for me. Very rarely see him make the wrong decision. I like players to be able to do all the fundamentals & Fields seems to have that. I think he’s going to be a VERY solid player in this league.

    Unless those 4 are going to play virtually all the minutes, which is unlikely, i’d expect the sophomores to win it. But i know absolutely nothing.

  5. AirComp10 says:

    Rookies winning? I think the most overlooked fact is that the ‘Compton Kids’ are being reunited! Thats right; DeMar DeRozan & Brandon Jennings… I can only imagine the number of highlight fastbreaks, alley-oops, no-looks, anklebreakers & facials that’ll be going on in this game.

  6. Gian says:

    Clearly the draft where lebron, carmelo anthony, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh were in never came into mind. Stop making conclusions that are not based on sound logic. You’re the reason the internet is getting such a bad rep

  7. Brett says:

    Jrue Holiday gets Mvp hes the most underrated player in the league

  8. NBAfan says:

    i hope shophomores win and blair get the mvp of the game like he should get the last year and tyreke won when blair did almost same points and grab 20+ rebs

  9. Vlad says:

    Blake is just great, John Wall is quite a player, Cousins has a bright future but that can`t be enough. This sophmore team won this game last year when they were rookies and this last happend 11 years ago or something. It`s a much better draft class even if you put Blake in the 2010 Draft.

    In fact, if you do count Blake, it is one best draft classes in the last 20 years and clearly the best since 2003.

    • Marshall T. says:

      This years rookie class is great…if you don’t look past the top 10 (with the exception of Mr. Fields). Disregarding the fact that Blake belongs in a different DRAFT class, this years rookie class is no where near the best since 2003, and actually may be the worst. Check up on the draft classes since the super star year of 2003, and you will see that even without players as dominant as Blake or as effective (but injury and turnover prone) as John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins, 2004 had Dwight Howard, Josh Smith, Al Jefferson, Andre Igoudala and several others who are key contributors on each of their respective teams. 2005? D-Will, CP3, Bogut, Bynum and Danny Granger? Not good enough? 06′ had Rudy Gay, Rajon Rondo, Andrea Bargnani, LaMarcus Aldridge and Tyrus Thomas. 07′ had Kevin Durant to go along with Joakim Noah, Jeff Green, Al Horford, Al Thornton and of course, the oft-injured Greg Oden. 08′ gave us guys that directly overwhelm this year’s rookie class in Kevin Love, Roy Hibbert, Danillo Gallinari, Anthony Randolf, and Micheal Beasley to go against Blake and DeMarcus. They also got D-Rose, Westbrook, O.J. Mayo and Eric Gordon to challenge J.Wall and Landry Fields. And then there’s last years rookie class, even if you don’t include Blake Griffin. the 09′ draft class brought us guys like Steph Curry, Tyreke Evans, Brandon Jennings, Darren Collison, DeMar DeRozan, Ty Lawson, Jrue Holiday, Terrence Williams and James Harden to battle Wall and Fields, and even without depth at the big spots, there is still Taj Gibson, Hasheem Thabeet and DeJuan Blair. This year? A couple of real standouts, but other than the starting line up (Wall, Fields, Bledsoe, Griffin and Cousins), the list of unpolished, unreliable, and seemingly timid and afraid of performing at their best, is long and huge. Even rookie starter Derrick Favors has failed to make a standout entrance to the professional league. Also unable to make any significant impact in their rookie season this year are: Evan Turner, Wesley Johnson, Aminu, Ed Davis, Gordon Hayward, Paul George, Cole Aldrich and several others. In a couple of years, some of these guys will blossom, but as of now, this is one of the worst draft classes in my memory. The absolute worst would be the year Mike Miller won the ROY award.