After playing sparingly the first two months of the season (in part because of a shoulder injury), Conley replaced veteran Damon Stoudamire as the Grizzlies' starting point guard Jan. 2. While Stoudamire is now hoping for a new home, Conley settled in with five double-digit scoring efforts and three games with at least seven assists in his first seven starts.
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In what has been a stunningly miserable season for the Heat, at least they're getting a good look at the 21st pick in the 2007 draft. Cook, a regular in the playing rotation, is on pace to set a franchise rookie record for three-pointers, and he opened the season 34-of-36 from the free throw line.
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Green recently joined fellow rookie Kevin Durant in Seattle's starting lineup. Not surprisingly, Green ranks among the top five rookies in minutes as the Sonics evaluate what they have in the player who was a key piece of the Ray Allen trade.
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Juan Carlos Navarro
"La Bomba" is not a typical rookie; he played 10 seasons in the Spanish League before reuniting with former FC Barcelona teammate Pau Gasol this season in Memphis, which acquired the the 6-3 guard from Washington last August. Navarro, a 2002 second-round pick, leads all rookies in three-pointers made, and he's averaged 16.1 points in his 10 starts.
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The former Euroleague star, 27, is playing his best basketball of the season in January. The Argentine power forward, a 2002 second-round pick by San Antonio, who was traded to Houston last July, averaged 11.1 points on 58.9 percent shooting in his first seven games of 2008.
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Though raw offensively, the 6-10 power forward has worked his way into the starting lineup for a Nets team that has tried several different combination of "bigs" to complement Jason Kidd, Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson. Williams is on track to shatter Kenyon Martin's team record for blocked shots by a rookie, and he already tied a club mark with an eight-block game last month.
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The 27-year-old has earned raves for his defense, and soon he'll show off his leaping ability at the Slam Dunk contest during All-Star Weekend. The undrafted Moon, who played one year at Meridian (Miss.) Community College, has truly earned his spot in the NBA, having toiled in a host of U.S. pro leagues before signing with the Raptors last July.
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Yi has struggled since the calendar flipped to 2008, including a recent 0-for-7 performance against Philadelphia. But he was much better in December, winning Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month honors after averaging 12.1 points (on 50.3 percent shooting) and 6.6 rebounds in 16 games.
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The 6-10 forward-center is showing why he was considered the most NBA-ready of the four University of Florida players taken in the 2007 draft. A starter since the season opener, Horford ranks among the top 20 in the league in rebounding, and his steady inside play has helped the Hawks move into position to snap the NBA's longest-active playoff drought of nine seasons.
10 of 10John W. McDonough/SI
Durant is getting plenty of on-the-job training for the rebuilding Sonics: He's averaging 33 minutes a game and has attempted 262 more shots than any of his teammates (through Jan. 15). The 19-year-old shooting guard is connecting on only 40 percent from the field, but he has displayed flashes of brilliance with three 30-point games. He is the clear front-runner to win the Rookie of the Year award.
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