The NBA Rookies of 2014 are starting to live up to their potential.
A surprise rookie who was suddenly given a grand opportunity is Minnesota Timberwolves’ Zach LaVine.
The former UCLA standout took the reins as the T-Wolves star Ricky Rubio got injured.
LaVine was projected as an exciting player but they were not sure whether he would make major contributions to the team since he did not have a stellar freshman season with the loaded Bruins.
Still, he was projected to have a high ceiling and his performance at the workouts was enough to propel him to the lottery.
Now with Rubio injured, LaVine made the most of an opportunity, and the fact that he played in front of Kobe Bryant-whom he actually outplayed! From ESPN: “Timberwolves rookie Zach LaVine scored 28 points on 11-of-14 shooting off the bench, a spectacular performance for the UCLA product. ‘I was playing against my childhood idol and I’m really, really surprised he missed that [final] shot.
That scared me.” While LaVine spoke, his teammate Corey Brewer shouted, ‘He’s the biggest Kobe fan and he beat his a– tonight.” The other side of the story was Lakers coach Byron Scott who chastised his team.
“There’s nobody in this league that we should be looking at thinking, ‘This is an easy win,’Period.” “We looked at them like they were inferior to us.
That’s the bottom line.” This miscalculation resulted in a lack of focus–which Scott mentioned six times in the interview.
And no one seems to argue.
The T-Wolves with their best player injured and being led by 19 year old rookies just got their 4th win–ahead of and the expense of 18 year NBA veteran Kobe Bryant and his Lakers.