After Brandon Jennings exploded for 55 points last month, it looked as though he'd be the runaway favorite for Rookie of the Year. But nearly two months into the season, not only is the race for the league's top rookie a dead heat, but we're beginning to see the birth of the NBA's next great rivalry, and question: Jennings or Tyreke Evans?
The two point guards couldn't be any more different. Evans, who led Memphis to the Elite Eight in last season's NCAA Tournament, is beginning to draw comparisons to LeBron James with the way he is able to physically take over a game. At 6-foot-6 and 220 pounds, he simply overpowers defenders and his numbers so far this year (20.2 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.1 assists) put him in an elite class only shared by King James and Dwyane Wade as the only other players to average at least 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists per game.
Meanwhile, Jennings, who skipped college to play in Italy last year, is drawing comparisons to every talented small guard to ever play in the NBA, from AllenIverson to Nate "Tiny" Archibald. Despite leading all rookies in points (21.2) and assists (5.7), the 6-foot-1, 169-pound Jennings has struggled with more physical teams that trap him with a bigger guy and guard against the pick-and-roll.
(All stats and records are through Dec. 9.)
NBA Rookie Rankings