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Nearly Invincible

May 03, 1999
May 03, 1999

Table of Contents
May 3, 1999

Faces In The Crowd
Pro Basketball

Nearly Invincible

And the NBA's top rookie for 1999 is (cue drumroll, highlight
reel and SEGA deal)...Denver center Raef LaFrentz! Just kidding.
Nobody needs the SI Player Rating Formula* to figure out that
Toronto's Vince Carter (above) is the class of the NBA class of
'99. Carter led all rookies in scoring average (18.2) and blocks
(1.64 per game) through Sunday. Although no other rookie ranks
close to Carter, Boston's Paul Pierce, Houston's Cuttino Mobley
and Michael Dickerson, Sacramento's Jason Williams and
Vancouver's Mike Bibby have been starters for most of the
season. But the biggest surprise is Tyrone Nesby, who signed
with the Clippers as a free agent out of UNLV. At week's end he
was averaging 12.8 points and 5.0 rebounds since March 27. Also
finishing strong is Vancouver's Felipe Lopez, who has climbed
101 spots in the SI rating of all NBA players since early March.
Then there is Mr. LaFrentz, who played only 12 games before
tearing his left ACL and lateral meniscus on Feb. 25. Had he
maintained the pace he set in his first three weeks of action,
the Nuggets might be in the playoffs, and Denver fans might have
been whipped into a LaFrentzy. --David Sabino

This is an article from the May 3, 1999 issue Original Layout

RANK AMONG DRAFT
SI RATING ALL PLAYERS POSITION

1. Vince Carter, Raptors 42.7 20 5
2. Paul Pierce, Celtics 36.0 37 10
3. Mike Bibby, Grizzlies 32.8 53 2
4. Jason Williams, Kings 29.3 67 7
5. Tyrone Nesby, Clippers 23.8 110 --
6. Michael Olowokandi, Clippers 23.1 116 1
7. Antawn Jamison, Warriors 22.0 126 4
8. Cuttino Mobley, Rockets 20.1 148 41
9. Larry Hughes, 76ers 20.0 149 8
10. Matt Harpring, Magic 19.7 155 15
11. Michael Dickerson, Rockets 19.3 159 14
12. Felipe Lopez, Grizzlies 18.7 163 24
13. Robert Traylor, Bucks 16.2 183 6
14. Predrag Stojakovic, Kings 15.9 186 --**
15. Kornel David, Bulls 15.6 188 --
16. Michael Doleac, Magic 15.4 190 12
17. Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks 15.4 191 9
18. Brad Miller, Hornets 12.4 216 --
19. Raef LaFrentz, Nuggets 10.0 247 3
20. Ricky Davis, Hornets 9.3 258 21

*The SI Player Rating Formula: [2 x (3-Pts. Made + Assists +
Blocks) + 1.5 x (OR + Steals) + Total Points + DR + FTM - (TOs x
2) - (Missed FTs + Missed FGs)] [divided by] Games Team Has Played
**Drafted in '96 with the No. 14 pick

COLOR PHOTO: MANNY MILLAN