Panini 2020-21 NBA Mid-Season Report – These Kids Can Ball! – The 2020-21 NBA rookie class has played well through the midpoint of the season, despite there not being a summer league or much of an offseason for them to prepare. Rookie guards LaMelo Ball and Tyrese Haliburton lead the class and will both be in consideration for Rookie of the Year honors. Not far behind are Anthony Edwards, Immanuel Quickley, and James Wiseman who will all look to make the 1st team all-rookie team.
There are also surprise players like Jae’Sean Tate, Desmond Bane, and Payton Pritchard who have made an immediate impact as role players on their teams. As the second half of the season begins, look for these rookies to improve as the season progresses with more playing time and experience.
2020-21 NBA Rookie Stat Leaders
2020-21 NBA Mid-Season Rookie Highlights
- LaMelo Ball became the youngest player in NBA history to have a triple double in a game.
- Tyrese Maxey scored 39 points, the most by a rookie this season.
- Cole Antony scored a game winning shot to give the Magic a win over the Timberwolves.
- Saddiq Bey became the first rookie in NBA history to make seven or more 3 pointers without a miss in a game. Bey also won Eastern Conference Player of the Week in the same week.
- Anthony Edwards made headlines with the dunk of the year.
- LaMelo Ball is the only player in the last 60 seasons to lead all rookies in total points, rebounds, assists, and steals at the All-Star break, per Elias Sports Bureau.
Up Next? Keep an Eye on These Players
- Desmond Bane (Memphis Grizzlies) – The rookie guard has shot the ball great especially from the 3-point line. Bane leads all rookies in 3-point percentage and 11th overall in the NBA.
- Facundo Campazzo (Denver Nuggets)– the oldest rookie in the class has played significant minutes for the Nuggets leading up to the All-Star game. Campazzo has shown flashes of the type of passes he can make and will be an important role player as the Nuggets push to make the playoffs.
- Saben Lee (Detroit Pistons) – Since the Pistons traded away Derrick Rose, Lee has stepped into the role as the backup point guard. The rookie point guard has averaged 11 points and 3.5 assists off the bench since the trade.
NBA All-Star Weekend Rookie Recap
NBA Rising Stars Teams – Although the game did not get played this year due Covid-19, the NBA still announced the 2021 Rising Star rosters. Voted by assistant coaches, 20 players in their first or second year are selected in which one team are players born in the United States and another team born internationally.
3-point Contest – Stephen Curry won his second 3-point contest of his career and became the 7th player to win the award multiple times.
Dunk Contest – During halftime of the All-Star game, Anfernee Simons became the first Trail Blazer to win the dunk contest over rookies Obi Toppin and Cassius Stanley.
All-Star Game – Team LeBron defeated Team Durant in a game full of highlights from the NBA’s top stars. Giannis Antetokounmpo won first All-Star Game MVP by shooting 16 for 16, an NBA record, from the floor and became the first international player to win the award.