By Marty Burns
February 18, 2008
Rookie Roster Grades's Marty Burns grades each player in the Rookie-Sophomore Challenge
Kevin Durant
Grade: A-
Stats: 27 min., 23 points (10-19 FG, 3-4 FT), 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals
Analysis: Leading candidate for Rookie of Year did not disappoint, racking up a team-high 23 points on a variety of shots. But he loses a grade for those banana-yellow shoes.
Al Horford
Grade: A-
Stats: 21 min., 19 points (8-10 FG, 3-3 FT), 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block
Analysis: Grabbed microphone to do pre-game introductions, then grabbed a bunch of rebounds early en route to a solid all-around performance. Probably didn't do enough to supplant Durant as ROY favorite, though.
Mike Conley
Grade: C
Stats: 21 min., 2 points (1-3 FG), 1 rebound, 8 assists
Analysis: The Grizzlies point guard led rookies with eight assists but also committed five turnovers -- including one pass into the fifth row. Must have thought it was Greg Oden.
Jamario Moon
Grade: B-
Stats: 19 min., 13 points (6-8 FG, 1-3 3PT), 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal
Analysis: Failed to add to his rags-to-riches story. Even got clowned by Ronnie Brewer of the Sophomores team, who baited him into passing him the ball late in the game. Moon did have several rim-rocking dunks, though.
Yi Jianlian
Grade: C
Stats: 24 min., 8 points (3-8 FG, 2-2 FT), 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
Analysis: Chinese phenom had a dunk and a couple smooth jumpers, but otherwise made little impact.
Juan Carlos Navarro
Grade: B-
Stats: 19 min., 14 points (6-11 FG, 2-4 3PT), 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals
Analysis: How do you say "Garbage Time" in Spanish? The Grizzlies guard was the last man to score, then put up 14 in the final 10 minutes. But what's with those blue shoes with yellow socks?
Luis Scola
Grade: C
Stats: 16 min., 4 points (2-3 FG), 3 rebounds
Analysis: Was he in the game? Oh yeah. The scruffy Argentine played it like a real game, doing the dirty work and attempting only three shots. When you're 27 years old and already have a gold medal, why not?
Sean Williams
Grade: A-
Stats: 19 min., 17 points (8-11 FG, 1-2 FT), 10 rebounds, 1 steal
Analysis: The headband-wearing Nets forward came ready to put on a show, hitting his first six shots -- including the night's signature play, when he threw the ball off backboard to himself for a one-handed lefty jam. Also led his team in rebounds.
Jeff Green
Grade: C
Stats: 34 min., 9 points (4-12 FG, 1-2 3PT), 5 rebounds
Analysis: Sonics "other" rookie missed seven of his first eight shots before finally slamming home a feed from Durant. Bottom line, once again he couldn't get out of Durant's shadow.
Sophomore Roster Grades
Brandon Roy
Grade: A-
Stats: 25 min., 17 points (5-10 FG, 1-1 3PT, 6-8 FT), 2 rebounds, 7 assists
Analysis: Considering he had to save his energy for Sunday's actual All-Star Game, he gave a commendable effort. He had 13 of his 17 points in the first half to help the Sophomores build a 66-52 lead.
LaMarcus Aldridge
Grade: A-
Stats: 34 min., 18 points (9-17 FG), 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks
Analysis: Solid all-around game for the Blazers big man. Climbed all over the offensive glass all night (team-high six offensive rebounds), helping the Sophomores to a 20-13 edge in second-chance points.
Rudy Gay
Grade: A-
Stats: 22 min., 22 points (9-12 FG, 2-2 3PT, 2-2 FT), 3 rebounds, 2 steals
Analysis: Warmed up for Dunk Contest with several tasty offerings, including a two-handed alley oop in which he seemed to climb to about 12 feet. Also sank both of his three-point attempts.
Rajon Rondo
Grade: B-
Stats: 18 min., 6 points (2-5 FG, 2-2 FT), 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals
Analysis: Celtics guard dropped some sweet dimes, including a nifty wraparound to Aldridge for a dunk. But he also lost the handle while going up for a rock-the-cradle dunk, leaving Kevin Garnett to throw up his hands in disbelief.
Andrea Bargnani
Grade: B-
Stats: 17 min., 8 points (4-9 FG, 0-3 3PT), 1 assist, 1 steal
Analysis: Scored the game's first basket on a drive through a wide-open lane for a dunk but was otherwise quiet. He missed all three of his three-point attempts and botched a dunk attempt.
Daniel Gibson
Grade: A
Stats: 21 min., 33 points (11-20 FG, 11-20 3PT), 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals
Analysis: Took home MVP honors with a stirring three-point shooting display. Hit seven of 10 in the first half, bringing LeBron James out of his courtside seat and helping the Sophs to a big, early lead. But will it carry over to Saturday's Shootout?
Jordan Farmar
Grade: A
Stats: 22 min., 17 points (6-10 FG, 3-6 3PT, 2-2 FT), 4 rebounds, 12 assists
Analysis: One could make a case for him as MVP. The Lakers guard racked up a team-high 12 assists (with just one turnover) while adding 17 points. He also had a game-high four steals.
Ronnie Brewer
Grade: B+
Stats: 18 min., 13 points (6-6 FG, 1-2 FT), 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals
Analysis: Took advantage of Moon's largesse by converting it into a windmill jam at the other end, one of several nice throw-downs for the Jazz wingman. Maybe he should have been in the Dunk Contest.
Paul Millsap
Grade: C
Stats: 23 min., 2 points (1-4 FG), 3 rebounds, 2 assists
Analysis: Perhaps unnerved by the presence of Karl Malone seated courtside, the Jazz muscleman botched a dunk, missed a layup and fumbled the ball away for a turnover in the first half. Settled down in second half, but overall failed to do much.

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