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There are a few weeks left of the regular season, and while some teams are focusing on playoff positioning, others are likely already prepping for the offseason, draft, and goals for next year. That means this part of the NBA schedule is serving as a bit of scouting and tryout period of sorts, where younger players who maybe didn't get a ton of run time earlier in the season are showing what they can bring to the team in the future. That's why you'll see names you may not have been familiar with back in December creep up in minutes around this time of year. It's the perfect time for underutilized rookies to prove their worth, especially on teams that should have a bounce-back season next year. 

Now let's move on to this week's rankings. Keep in mind that these rankings will reflect a rookie's performance on a week-to-week basis only, not the collective season. These aren't Rookie of the Year standings but rather a reflection on what the player has done over the past week. With that straightened out, here is a look at the top five performers from the NBA's freshman class:

1. Chet Holmgren
OKC • C • #7
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Holmgren was unreal against the Jazz Wednesday night, dropping a season-high 35 points on an absurd 12 of 18 from the floor. It was just a complete, dominant performance, filled with a number of highlight reel plays, none better than this emphatic poster of a dunk over Jazz rookie Taylor Hendricks.

I get it, a 7-footer dunking is rarely worthy of a bunch of excitement, but Holmgren put so much flourish on that dunk that it's worthy of all the attention. He also did it on a dude who's 6-foot-9, and while Holmgren has four inches on him, given that he isn't the strongest, there was no guarantee that he would finish that dunk. And then you factor in that he cocked his arm all the way back to avoid the contact and just slammed it home with so much authority. It's a ridiculous dunk, even for someone as tall as Holmgren is. 

That was just one of five dunks for Holmgren on the night, who completely feasted on Utah, even when bigger defenders like fellow 7-footer Walker Kessler tried his best to contain him. It was the perfect matchup for Holmgren to shine and he took complete advantage of it. When you look ahead to how Holmgren is going to impact the game during the postseason, there are few matchups where he'll be able to explode on the level that he did against the Jazz. Still, teams with limited size, like the Warriors, could definitely replicate that performance. And with the Warriors likely fighting for the No. 8 spot in the playoffs, he could very well face them in the first round.

2. Amen Thompson
HOU • PG • #1
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I think a lot of people expected the Rockets to fade over the rest of the season after star center Alperen Sengun went down with a severe ankle sprain. But you look up at the standings and Houston is just 2.5 games back of the Warriors for the final play-in spot. There are several reasons why they've been rising over the last week, but one of the main factors has been Thompson, who has been acting as a small ball center in place of Sengun. 

Thompson has started in each of the past four games since Sengun went down, and he's posted 20+ points twice in that span. The formula's been pretty simple: have Thompson as the roller in pick-and-roll action, dish him the ball on the move, and he'll pull out a variety of finishing moves around the rim. The Wizards got a close-up of his athleticism this week, where he dropped 25 points on 10 of 12 from the field, with all those points coming within five feet of the rim. The important thing to remember is he's just 6-foot-7, and he's finessing his way to the rim, outworking everyone for offensive boards and using his strength to get his buckets.

He moves incredibly well without the ball, so he's benefiting from all the lob passes from Fred VanVleet and Jalen Green

You can't put a slow big on him because he'll be at the rim before they even realize they're supposed to be guarding him. And you can't put a smaller defender on him because his size will overpower them when he gets into the paint. He's been a late-season surprise in the starting lineup for the Rockets, and regardless of how this season ends, he's certainly made a case to be in the starting five next season, too.

3. Victor Wembanyama
SA • C • #1
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Wembanyama finished the week with a pretty inefficient performance on offense in a loss to the Mavericks. But it was the perfect example of how impactful he can be even when his shot isn't falling. Throughout the entire game, when Wemby was on the court, the Mavericks actively avoided taking any shots near the rim. It was to be expected because he's already proven to be an elite rim protector. Still, it was pretty funny to watch the Mavericks throw up all the lob passes in the world to Dereck Lively II and Daniel Gafford as soon as the Spurs rookie checked out of the game. 

Kyrie Irving was really the only one who challenged Wembanyama, who finished the game with six blocks at the rim, and after the game, he spoke incredibly highly of the No. 1 overall pick. 

"I like going in there and challenging him because if you could finish on Wemby, I feel like you can finish on anybody in the world," Irving said. "He's gonna block some and he's gonna make you change it, but it's only gonna make you better as a basketball player – and that's what I want and I think everybody should relish in that."

Irving is one of the greatest rim finishers in the NBA, and he's already gotten off a tough finish at the rim against Wembanyama in a previous matchup. But by no means was it easy, and the former All-Star guard noted that not only is it difficult to challenge him in the paint, but he's already operating on Defensive Player of the Year territory.

"He does do things like a Defensive Player of the Year would," Irving said. "He's showing signs that he's exceeded all the Defensive Player of the Year stats from previous years to guys that have won it. You just see it. I don't know who they're gonna pick, but he has all the tools to be named Defensive Player of the Year."

While it's unlikely that Wembanyama will win it this year, as Rudy Gobert is seen as the frontrunner for the award, the rookie is already 10th in defensive win shares, third in defensive box plus/minus, second in defensive rating and leads the league in total blocks and blocks per game. He may not win it as a rookie, but he's certainly on track to win it as soon as next year and could have a stronghold on the award for many years to come.

4. Gregory Jackson
MEM • PF • #45
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Jackson became the youngest player in NBA history to record seven 3-pointers in a game when he dropped 35 points against the Warriors this week. The Grizzlies might've lost, but Jackson had no issue getting whatever he wanted. The crazy thing about it is Jackson could've broken this record several other times this season, as he's posted six 3's on two other occasions. Jackson's been on fire from 3-point range all season long, and to think he fell in Memphis' lap with the 45th pick is insane. 

While this season hasn't gone as planned for the Grizzlies due to injuries, there's a world in which next season they'll have Jackson coming off the bench in a featured role lining up 3s. That's a dangerous though for a Memphis team that just last season was one of the most potent squads when healthy. 

5. Vasilije Micic
CHA • PG • #22
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Micic got traded to the Hornets ahead of the deadline in the deal that brought Gordon Hayward to the Thunder, and since the swap, not only has he seen a significant increase in minutes, but he's also boosted his production. In 30 games with the Thunder, Micic averaged just 3.3 points and 2.5 assists in 12 minutes of action. But since joining the Hornets, he's been putting up 12.3 points and 5.5 assists on 48% from the field in 26.4 minutes in 18 games, nine of which he's started. Obviously, his starting isn't something that will be long-lived past this season when LaMelo Ball returns healthy, but the fact he's put up 20+ points in four different games since being traded to Charlotte is a positive sign as the Hornets look ahead to next season and see who will be a significant part of their rotation. So far, Micic is making one strong case for himself.