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Birthday Boy Still No. 3 in Rankings

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MarShon Brooks turns 23 Thursday and he's resting up, hoping his sore achilles will be good enough to challenge Kyrie Irving Friday night in Cleveland. Irving is currently at the top of the rookie rankings, just one Ricky Rubio ahead of Brooks in two of the three big rankings. Chandler Parsons sneaks up in the third.

Of Brooks, ESPN's David Thorpe writes, "Any time a rookie performs as well as Brooks has, it's a surprise, even if he was the top pick in the draft. But what Brooks is doing as a late first-round pick is stunning ... Right now, it looks like the Celtics will live to regret not drafting him and trading the pick to the Nets." And Thorpe has him ranked fourth.

Sebastian Pruiti, on Grantland, says nice things of Brooks' offense, but hammers him on his "matador defense ... It wasn't good enough for your JV coach, and it isn't good enough in the NBA." Drew Packham at NBA.com worries about his achilles, but calls him, "one of the most consistent rookie scorers".