Best Of

Best Rookie


New Jersey Nets seven-footer Brook Lopez was the team’s first-round pick last year, but the mastodon from Stanford still exceeded expectations. Do the numbers: He played in all 82 games, averaging a solid 13 points and eight rebounds in only 30 minutes a game. Not a great athlete, he still blocked 1.8 shots a game, leading all NBA rookies and setting a team record. And he made the league’s All-Rookie team, too. This smart player with a pretty polished game is not likely to be a one-season wonder: This summer, he outplayed the ballyhooed Greg Oden at the U.S. Olympic team tryouts. Back at the June 2008 draft, the Knicks picked sixth and selected Danilo Gallinari. The Nets picked 10th and grabbed Lopez. So far? No comparison.