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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Friday / October 20.
  • Class of 2014 Draftmates Wiggins, Parker, Embiid Shining in NBA

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    Minnesota’s Andrew Wiggins, Milwaukee’s Jabari Parker and Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid will forever be linked as the top three picks of NBA Draft 2014. What binds them today has been their strong play to start the season, the first in which all three are playing in the NBA at the same time. Here is a closer look at each player’s early-season performance:

    Andrew Wiggins, Timberwolves (No. 1 pick): The 21-year-old swingman has continued to add to his offensive game in his third season. Wiggins ranks 10th in the NBA in scoring (25.7 ppg), highlighted by a career-high 47-point effort against the Lakers on Nov. 13. The five-point increase from last season features impressive progress as a perimeter shooter, with Wiggins hitting an NBA-high 48.9 percent of his three-pointers. The outside touch has complemented his slashing ability, which has him among the top 10 in free-throw attempts for the second season in a row.

    Jabari Parker, Bucks (No. 2 pick): After missing 57 games in his rookie season, Parker rebounded to average 14.1 points in 76 games last season. The 21-year-old forward has built on that performance this season, ranking second on the team in scoring (19.5 ppg) and minutes (32.8 mpg) and third in rebounding (6.4 ppg). He already has five 20-point games this season after needing 35 games to post his first 20-point effort in 2015-16. Parker has made 10 three-pointers in 2016-17, three fewer than he sank in his first two seasons combined.

    Joel Embiid, 76ers (No. 3 pick): Embiid has wasted little time showing what he can do when healthy, making the most of his 22.0 minutes per game. The 22-year-old center from Cameroon leads all rookies in scoring (18.4 ppg), rebounding (7.3 rpg) and blocked shots (2.3 bpg), the first rookie with those numbers through nine games since Shaquille O’Neal in 1992-93. Embiid, a 7-footer, has also hit half of his 22 three-point attempts, including three made triples in a career-high 26-point outing against the Suns on Saturday. On Monday, he went for 22 points, 5 rebounds and 3 blocks against Miami as the Sixers won for the second straight time for the first time since March 2015.

     

    (Via the NBA; Photo: USA Today Sports)

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    Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.