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A standard comparison of Gordon's numbers to other top rookies shows that he should finish third for Rookie of the Year -- top pick Dwight Howard is averaging 11.0 points and 10.1 rebounds, and No. 2 pick Emeka Okafor is putting up 14.9 points and 10.7 rebounds. No rookie has a better scoring average than Gordon's 14.9, but his other averages, 2.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists, are mundane. For much of the year, the rookie race has been Okafor vs. Howard, with Okafor leading.

But give the award to Gordon, who will turn 22 on April 4. Throw out standard comparisons. What matters is that the Bulls have become a dangerous team, one likely headed for the playoffs, and it's because of Gordon. Sure, there is a list of reasons for the Bulls' success -- the young core, production from veterans, Scott Skiles' coaching -- but none is more important than Gordon, who brings a late-game confidence young teams usually lack. Already, Gordon has led the Bulls to 12 wins with double-digit fourth quarter scoring. That's 12 wins the Bulls might not have gotten otherwise -- 12 wins that have them in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race. Perhaps they could have won those games without Gordon. Of course, no one would have predicted such a thing -- but then, predictions can be difficult.

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Gordon should be the Rookie of the Year
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