Top NBA Rookies show up

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by Henry Liao

Cade Cunningham
Cade Cunningham

Finally.

Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham, the NBA’s No. 1 overall selection in this year’s draft, finally made his NBA debut in a 110-103 home decision over the equally inept Orlando Magic.

Under a minutes restriction of 20-25 minutes, the 6-6 point guard started and finished with two points (1-8 FGA, 0-5 3FGA), seven rebounds and a pair of assists in 19 minutes.

Jalen Green
Jalen Green

Cunningham had suffered a right ankle sprain in training camp and missed the entire preseason and the first four games of the regular season during which the Motor City unit went 0-4.

The Pistons, the last NBA team to register a win, thus avoided their first 0-5 start since 2012-13.

Forty years ago today, Isiah Thomas also made his NBA debut with the Pistons.

So far, the other top rookies have been averaging double-digit scores.

No. 2 pick Jalen Green, Houston’s 6-4 shooting guard who owns gallons of Filipino blood in his veins, along with Utah’s Jordan Clarkson, is norming 14.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists for the Rockets.

Scottie Barnes
Scottie Barnes

No. 3 selection Evan Mobley of Cleveland, a 7-footer out of the University of Southern California, is registering per-game clips of 15.3 points and 8.2 rebounds for the Cavaliers.

No. 4 pick Scottie Barnes of Toronto, is hitting at a 17.7-point clip and hauling down 8.3 rebounds, The 6-7 forward is second to veteran OG Anunoby (18.5 ppg) in scoring on the Raptors outfit.

No. 5 choice Jalen Suggs starts for the Orlando Magic and is norming 13.2 scores, 3.3 boards, and 3.7 assists every time out.

No. 6 Joshua Giddy, a 6-8 guard out of Melbourne, Australia, is netting 10.8 points, 6.2 reebies and 5.6 dish offs as a starter for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Chris Duarte
Chris Duarte

No. 7 Jonathan Kuminga of Golden State finally suited up for the first time as the Warriors whitewashed the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder, 103-82.

Kuminga had sustained a strained right patellar tendon in an October 6 preseason game with the Warriors. The 6-7 forward was fielded in by coach Steve Kerr in the final six minutes and got three points on 1-for-4 shooting.

The leading rookie scorer in the NBA so far is 24-year-old Chris Duarte, a 6-5 shooting guard out of Northwest Florida State (2017-19) and University of Oregon (2019-21) whom the Indiana Pacers drafted at No. 13 overall.

A Canadian-Dominican who was born in Montreal, Duarte is averaging 18.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 36.5 minutes as a starter for the Pacers.

Henry Liao
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