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Sport NBA Rookie Rankings: Facundo Campazzo, Desmond Bane stepping up in the playoffs

03:35  29 may  2021
03:35  29 may  2021 Source:   cbssports.com

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Another week, another edition of rookie power rankings , and this week's theme seems to be guys who should probably be starting on their team but haven't made that full-time leap yet. The NBA announced the winners for Rookie of the Month, and it went to two guys who have done the majority of their LaMelo Ball won it in the East, and Tyrese Haliburton won it in the West, and even if they hadn't won it, the honors would have likely gone to rookies who are also coming off the bench as Tyrese Maxey was also nominated in the East, as well as Desmond Bane for the West. That shows a couple of things

Facundo Campazzo Stats and news - NBA stats and news on Denver Nuggets Guard Facundo Campazzo . Campazzo had 19 points (4-9 FG, 3-6 3Pt, 8-8 FT), five assists and three steals in Saturday's loss to the Nets. 05/08/2021, 4:45 PM. Facundo Campazzo : Dishes out nine assists.

We're in the thick of the 2021 NBA playoffs, and while many rookies are experiencing it from home, there's a handful of first-year players who are really making an impact in their initial postseason appearance. Some guys are getting heavy minutes off the bench or as a starter, while others are making the most of the opportunity they're given when they check in the game. This may be the most rookies we've seen play in the playoffs in recent memory, showing just how deep the 2020 NBA Draft truly was despite talks of their not being a ton of star power.

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This group of guys has the potential to have lengthy NBA careers as role players in this league, and they're certainly proving it with their postseason performances so far. Here are the top five first-year players who are shining in the playoffs so far.

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Facundo "Facu" Campazzo was born in 1991 in Cordoba, Argentina, which is in the central part of the country, in the foothills of the Sierras Chicas on the Suquia River. The fiesty guard grew up in the Penarol Mar del Plata basketball program in Argentina, starting in the juniors league. He made his debut with the top pro Penarol team during the 2008-09 season. Campazzo was also a member of the Argentinean U-18 National Team. In 2010, he was named the Argentine League Revelation of the Year and the Argentine Cup MVP. Campazzo moved to Spain for the 2014-15 season and signed with

NBA Rookie Rankings : Anthony Edwards continues impressive scoring, Malachi Flynn proves himself with Raptors. We're reaching the final month of the season and rookies are continuing to develop. Talk about a rookie coming out of nowhere, Malachi Flynn just started to get consistent playing time over the last month, and has really begun to take advantage of the increased playing time the past two weeks. Not only did he put up a career-high 22 points this past week against the Hawks , but he scored 12-straight points in the final minutes of the fourth quarter to almost force a comeback.

Facundo Campazzo
DEN • PG • 7
PPG10.3
APG6.3
RPG4.7
SPG2.3
FG%43.5
3P%46.2
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Campazzo's been a mainstay in the starting lineup since Jamal Murray's season-ending ACL tear back in mid-April, and got the nod to start in the playoffs due to his performance at the end of the regular season. While he was a pest in the regular season on defense, though, he's being put through the wringer against the Portland Trail Blazers as he's been tasked with guarding Damian Lillard.

In over 13 minutes of guarding Lillard over the three games, Campazzo let up 29 points as the Blazers are throwing him into pick-and-rolls to create space for their star point guard. It forced Nuggets coach Mike Malone to switch forward Aaron Gordon on Lillard in Game 2, which ended up being a significant difference maker and a main reason Denver won that game. Campazzo's still giving Lillard and the rest of the Blazers headaches when he's guarding them. In Game 3 he had two steals, both coming against Lillard. But naturally there have been stretches of time when Lillard is just making shots, which is to be expected of the superstar.

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NBA Rookie Rankings : Anthony Edwards continues impressive scoring, Malachi Flynn proves himself with Raptors. We're reaching the final month of the season and rookies are continuing to develop. Talk about a rookie coming out of nowhere, Malachi Flynn just started to get consistent playing time over the last month, and has really begun to take advantage of the increased playing time the past two weeks. Not only did he put up a career-high 22 points this past week against the Hawks , but he scored 12-straight points in the final minutes of the fourth quarter to almost force a comeback.

NBA Rookie Rankings : Anthony Edwards continues impressive scoring, Malachi Flynn proves himself with Raptors. We're reaching the final month of the season and rookies are continuing to develop. Talk about a rookie coming out of nowhere, Malachi Flynn just started to get consistent playing time over the last month, and has really begun to take advantage of the increased playing time the past two weeks. Not only did he put up a career-high 22 points this past week against the Hawks , but he scored 12-straight points in the final minutes of the fourth quarter to almost force a comeback.

Even though Campazzo is exerting a ton of energy on defense, he's also still managing to be a big positive on offense. Just look at this nutmeg assist on CJ McCollum for the easy Nikola Jokic bucket from Game 2.

In Game 3 he was just shy of getting a triple-double, putting up 11 points, and eight rebounds and assists each. Campazzo's been solid for the Nuggets in the starting lineup through the first three games, and while he's no Jamal Murray, he's still able to bring it on both ends of the floor and impact the game in positive ways for Denver. He's easily been the most impressive rookie through the postseason thus far.

Desmond Bane
MEM • SG • 22
PPG6.5
RPG4.0
APG2.0
FG%62.5
3P%75.3
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Bane's 3-point shooting has been essential to the Grizzlies' success this season, and in his first playoff appearance he's making sure to let everyone know that he hasn't lost his touch. In Game 1, with Memphis ahead of the Utah Jazz, Bane drained a 3-pointer in the face of Utah forward Georges Niang at the buzzer to increase the Grizzlies lead going into the fourth quarter.

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NBA Rookie Rankings : Anthony Edwards continues impressive scoring, Malachi Flynn proves himself with Raptors. We're reaching the final month of the season and rookies are continuing to develop. We're nearing the final month of the regular season, and rookies we haven't heard much about earlier in the year are still getting some opportunities to shine. Whether that is because teams are dealing with injuries, or squads are waving the white flag and starting to play younger players, it's allowed some end-of-the-bench rookies to capitalize on the moment.

NBA Rookie Rankings : Anthony Edwards continues impressive scoring, Malachi Flynn proves himself with Raptors. We're reaching the final month of the season and rookies are continuing to develop. We're nearing the final month of the regular season, and rookies we haven't heard much about earlier in the year are still getting some opportunities to shine. Whether that is because teams are dealing with injuries, or squads are waving the white flag and starting to play younger players, it's allowed some end-of-the-bench rookies to capitalize on the moment.


Video: Nikola Jokić gets the W for Denver with a last minute tip-in for a 2-1 series lead (NBC Sports)

It led to some words being exchanged between Bane and Niang, as the rookie showed no signs of cowering to the moment. He followed that up with another solid performance in Game 2 despite the loss, and although he's not going to be getting as many touches as some of the other rookies on this list, he's making sure that when he's given the ball open on the wing he's going to knock down those shots.

Immanuel Quickley
NY • SG • 5
PPG7.0
RPG2.5
APG2.0
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Quickley saw his minutes decrease in Game 2 against the Atlanta Hawks, but that was mainly because reserve guard Derrick Rose had the hot hand and was the reason the Knicks were able to tie up the series. However, in Game 1, Quickley continued to be the steady, consistent player he's been all season long for New York. He was pulling up from 3 as soon as he passed halfcourt, and put the moves on Hawks star guard Trae Young for some easy buckets from mid-range.

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Some rookies would struggle playing in an atmosphere like Madison Square Garden, especially in the playoffs, but Quickley remained as cool as a cucumber off the bench for the Knicks. He may see more minutes in Game 3, depending on if Tom Thibodeau will start Derrick Rose after seeing how well he played with the starting unit in the second half. If that's the case, then we may see more of what Quickley brought in Game 1 going forward.

Obi Toppin
NY • PF • 1
PPG6.5
RPG2.0
FG%57.1
3P%50.3
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Heading into the postseason I was a little uncertain with how many minutes Toppin would see in this Knicks rotation, especially considering he only averaged 11 minutes a game in the regular season. In Game 1, he made a few good plays when he was on the floor, but Game 2 is where he really made an impact in the nearly 12 minutes he played. At the start of the fourth quarter, he caught a lob pass from Alec Burks for a thunderous dunk that sent Madison Square Garden into a frenzy, and helped extend the Knicks.

Before that, though, he was active on the boards and made a big-time wide open 3-pointer in the corner to get New York to within one point in the second quarter. He's not impacting the game on the same level as Campazzo is for the Nuggets, but he's excelling in the minutes he's been given which could lead to more playing time as the series goes on if Thibodeau sees he can trust him on the floor.

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Tyrese Maxey
PHI • PG • 0
PPG6.5
RPG1.0
APG`1.0
FG%62.5
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Maxey got significantly more playing time in Game 2 (13 minutes), and was incredibly efficient in his time on the floor. He put up 10 points, three blocks and two rebounds and assists each. Granted it's against the Washington Wizards, but Maxey is showing no fear in his first taste at the postseason. He's being aggressive on offense when he's out there, and taking shots that some rookies may shy away from. Just look at this ridiculous reverse layup.

It's not just his offense, either. On defense he's been even better -- did I mention he had three blocks in game 2? Look at his recovery on this defensive possession when he gets stuck coming around a screen but still manages to block Cassius Winston's shot. Or this play where he shows off great footwork and fundamentals to stay in front of Ish Smith and gets a piece of the shot for another block.

These plays are largely in garbage time as the Sixers already wrapped up the game by this point, but Maxey's still showing that he can make a difference.

Keep betting on Deandre Ayton -- and the Mets, too -- plus other top picks for Wednesday .
In four games against Denver, Ayton has averaged 33.3 points and rebounds per game .Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: SportsLine's Mike Barner has gone 40-30-1 in his last 71 NBA ATS picks and he's got a spread pick for tonight's game if you prefer avoiding player props. ???? The Picks???? NBANuggets at Suns, 9:30 p.m. | TV: TNT The Pick: Facundo Campazzo Under 9.5 points (-135) -- There may be only one NBA game tonight, but that doesn't mean we can't bet two different props.

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