To keep tabs on this season's rookie class, we've been showcasing the NBA Rookie Ladder presented by Juicy Fruit throughout the season.
Rather than taking a season-long approach, however, our rankings are based on who has performed the best over the most recent two-week period. We want to open opportunities for other first-year players to shine.
With that in mind, let's take a look at the five rookies who have impressed the most since March 5.
1. Collin Sexton, PG, Cleveland Cavaliers
Stats since March 5: 24.4 points, 3.6 assists, 2.1 rebounds and 0.4 blocks per game
It's been an up and down season for Sexton, but he's been on fire lately.
The No. 8 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Sexton has scored at least 20 points in each of his last six games. According to Basketball-Reference, it's the longest streak of 20-point games by a rookie this season, moving him ahead of Luka Doncic and Trae Young.
Sexton has been incredibly efficient in those games, too, particularly from the perimeter. Not only has he knocked down 56.4 percent of his 3-point attempts over the last two weeks, he leads all first-year players in makes and attempts from the great beyond.
Sexton was at his best in that regard against the Detroit Pistons on Monday, when he knocked down five of his six 3-point attempts en route to a game-high 27 points.
While that marked only the second win for the Cavaliers during Sexton's streak of 20-point games, it's enough for him to become the first rookie not named Doncic or Young to headline this list this season.
2. Trae Young, PG, Atlanta Hawks
Stats since March 5: 20.6 points, 7.7 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game
Even though he's cooled off since we last checked in on him, Young continues to impress.
On March 9, Young recorded his first career triple-double and the first ever by a Hawks rookie with 23 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in only 29 minutes against the Brooklyn Nets. He struggled with his shot against the New Orleans Pelicans the next night, but he still made an impact by dishing out 10 assists while committing only two turnovers.
That was then the 23rd time Young has dished out 10 or more assists in a game this season. The next-most in this rookie class? Doncic with eight.
Young has since scored 20-plus points in three straight games, going for 22 points against the Memphis Grizzlies, 26 against the Boston Celtics, 20 against the Orlando Magic and 21 points and 12 assists against the Houston Rockets.
3. Luka Doncic, G/F, Dallas Mavericks
Stats since March 5: 23.2 points, 10.7 rebounds, 7.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game
As incredible as Doncic's numbers are over the last two weeks, there are a couple of reasons why he isn't higher on this week's ladder:
- Efficiency. Doncic has made 38.8 percent of his field goal attempts and 20.5 percent of his 3-point attempts over the last two weeks. He's also averaged 4.2 turnovers per game. The Rookie of the Year favourite had a particularly rough outing against the San Antonio Spurs - a game he was questionable to play in due to a knee strain - with 12 points on 5-for-18 shooting and nine turnovers.
- Record. The Mavericks are 0-6 in the games he's played since March 5 and they've been outscored by 9.8 points per 100 possessions with him on the court.
Neither of those are entirely Doncic's fault - he's had little help since they gutted their roster and acquired Kristaps Porzingis, who has yet to play a game this season, ahead of the trade deadline - but it puts him a notch below Sexton and Young for now.
4. Jalen Brunson, PG, Dallas Mavericks
Stats since March 5: 18.7 points, 5.7 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 0.6 steals per game
Doncic isn't the only rookie on the Mavericks deserving of your attention. Brunson, who was selected in the second round of the 2018 NBA Draft, has made the most of his promotion into the starting lineup lately with several strong performances.
Brunson has now scored in double figures in eight straight games for the Mavericks, including a 34-point outburst against the Spurs in which he made 12 of his 16 shot attempts. He followed it up by scoring 20 points against the Denver Nuggets two days later, marking only the fourth time this season that he has scored more than 20 points in a game.
As much as the Mavericks have struggled in the second half of this season, they have a lot to be excited about when it comes to Brunson.
5. Frank Jackson, PG, New Orleans Pelicans
Stats since March 5: 17.0 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 0.4 steals per game
Here's what Jackson has done since Jrue Holiday went down with an abdominal strain:
- 20 points (9-20 FG) against the Toronto Raptors
- 23 points (10-18 FG) against the Atlanta Hawks
- 14 points (7-18 FG) against the Milwaukee Bucks
- 16 points (7-13 FG) against the Portland Trail Blazers
- 14 points (4-13 FG) against the Phoenix Suns
- 19 points (7-17 FG) against the Dallas Mavericks
The Pelicans only won one of those games, but it's been an encouraging stretch for the rookie after he missed all of last season with foot injuries.
Marvin Bagley III, F/C, Sacramento Kings - 19.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game
Deandre Ayton, C, Phoenix Suns - 14.4 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, LA Clippers - 14.0 points, 4.7 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game
Landry Shamet, SG, LA Clippers - 10.3 points, 2.8 assists and 2.0 rebounds per game
Mitchell Robinson, C, New York Knicks - 5.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game
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