The top contenders in the NBA Rookie of the Year race are showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, just the opposite. They put together a scintillating week on the court even as the season drags on far beyond anything they’re used to.
As you prepare to make your NBA pick of the day, here’s a look at what’s transpired for the top first-year players in the past week.
Here’s a look at some NBA games odds to consider!
Victor Wembanyama, San Antonio Spurs (-260)
Wembanyama keeps motoring on. Entering Thursday, he had played in 10 straight games and 20 of 23 since Christmas, averaging 22.8 points and 9.8 rebounds while shooting 50% in that stretch. There’s nothing to deter those betting online from going in on Wemby for Rookie of the Year, and his game seems to get more refined by the day.
The 20-year-old had 18 points and 13 rebounds in 28 minutes at Miami on Wednesday night, making 3 of 5 3-pointers in the process. That’s a part of his game that shows more promise as time goes on. Wembanyama shot 27.1% from the arc through November but has been hitting 33.6% since then (41.7% in the first three games of February). If that trend continues, look out.
Wemby’s trey ball is starting to drop pic.twitter.com/02UcZxFI3s
— Brett Usher (@UsherNBA) February 8, 2024
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The effort at Miami came in the opener of San Antonio’s annual Rodeo Road Trip. Wembanyama recently made some comments about the grind of the season, admitting a degree of fatigue compounded by his first real bout of Texas seasonal allergies (the Cedar Fever!). The Spurs just played 14 games in 23 nights and now have a nine-game road trip that spans the All-Star break, when he’ll also have to head to Indianapolis for a head-spinning weekend that won’t allow for much relaxation.
Perhaps that leads to a night off or two, something to look for in the NBA news cycle before visiting the sportsbook.
Chet Holmgren, Oklahoma City Thunder (+200)
After a recent stretch in which his production lagged a bit, Holmgren has put up some big numbers this week. He scored 22 points in Sunday’s win over Toronto before matching that total in a loss to Utah on Tuesday.
Over his last four games, Holmgren is averaging 19.5 points on 55.8% shooting with 8.3 rebounds. The Gonzaga product is 14-for-26 (53.8%) from long range in that span, all on the heels of a 12-game stretch in which he made 26.1% of his 3-pointers.
Perhaps Holmgren has found a second wind as he grinds through a campaign in which he has yet to miss a game.
Brandon Miller, Charlotte Hornets (+15000)
There are many rites of passage in a player’s rise to stardom in the NBA. One is when your name rolls off the tongue of one LeBron James, who had this to say after Miller torched the Lakers for 35 points on Tuesday:
“He’s here for a reason. Just continue to get better and better. I love what I see from him at this stage of his career so he’ll continue to get better and better.”
Miller’s effort in a loss to the Lakers made him the first Hornets rookie to score at least 30 points in back-to-back games. He followed that up with 20 points and a pair of steals while shooting over 50% in a close loss to Toronto on Wednesday.
This guy’s stock is rising in a hurry and he’s turning this into a three-man race.
Questions Of The Day
What will the top rookies be doing during All-Star weekend?
Wembanyama and Miller will be teammates on Team Gasol. Holmgren and OKC teammate Jalen Williams are on Team Jalen (named for Rose, not Williams). There should be plenty of action you can take on this game and finding a bet line NBA fans like won’t be hard.
What games stand out in the ROY race over the next week?
We only have to look at the next couple of days for some intriguing matchups. Wemby takes on fellow Rising Star Paolo Banchero in Orlando on Thursday and Miller will tackle Giannis and the Bucks on Friday night in Milwaukee. Holmgren hosts triple-double machine Domantas Sabonis and Sacramento on Saturday.