Raise your hand if you thought that that three weeks into the season the three leading rookie scorers would be Jabari Pakrer, Bojan Bogdanovic and Andrew Wiggins, in that order? LIAR!
Okay, how many thought Bogdanovic would be leading all NBA rookies in minutes? Now, you're getting pathological!
And yet, here we are and those two things are true. Moreover, "Bogie," as his teammates call him, is starting to get Rookie of the Year buzz. Here's what Scott Howard-Cooper, who ranks rookies weekly for NBA.com, wrote this week, just before the Bucks game, where Bogdanovic scored 19 points. He puts Bogdanovic third, after Parker and Wiggins...
Bogdanovic is shooting 54.3 percent in his last five games, even with the zero for five Saturday at Portland, putting him at 47.6 percent overall while getting 30.5 minutes for a team with playoff aspirations. That leads all rookies in playing time. Bogdanovic has quickly gone from No. 7 in the opening Ladder to a legit threat for Rookie of the Year if he maintains that kind of role, and production, with Brooklyn.
He's not alone. David Thorpe, who ranks rookies for ESPN, has Bogdanovic second, right after Parker and ahead of Dante Exum. He offers some advice to the young shooting guard.
As a 6-8 perimeter player, Bogdanovic has the potential to offer his team significant help on the boards, an area the Nets are currently struggling in. But rebounding begins with players putting themselves in the best position to win the race to the ball. That requires a player to be within about 12 feet of the rim after the shot goes up.
So far we've seen Bogdanovic drifting toward the perimeter or staying there after a shot is taken, which is why he owns one of the lowest defensive rebounding rates in the league.
Chris Bernucca of Sheridan Hoops agrees, placing Bogdanovic in the second spot and notes...
We mentioned his inconsistency above, and he did have a 28-minute donut at Portland over the weekend. But he bounced back with 22 and 19 in consecutive games and leads rookies in minutes (31.9), is second in scoring (11.3) and shooting (.470), first in 3-pointers (19) and fifth in 3-point shooting (.373). The Nets have problems right now, but BoBo isn’t among them.
Bogdanovic's play, along with Deron Williams' return to health, are the two big positives in what so far has been a disappointing season. He's averaging 11.3 points per game, between Parker's 11.8 and Wiggins' 10.7. He is also first in minutes, at 31.9, as well as second in field goal percentage; fifth in three-point shooting (and rising after hitting 8-of-16 the last two games); second in free throw shooting, having missed only one; and seventh in player efficiency.
It's a long way between now and the ROY voting and Bogdanovic's age, 25, could hurt him. If his European experience is any measure, he can also be quite streaky, shooting 11 percent (!) from three January, but no one had a right to ask for more from the Croatian import.
- Payton losing minutes -- and ground -- in rookie race - Scott Howard-Cooper - NBA.com
- NBA: Breaking down rookie mistakes - David Thorpe - ESPN Insider
Rookie Rankings Jabari Parker Bojan Bogdanovic both play well in showdown - Chris Bernucca - Sheridan Hoops