LaMelo Ball, Tyrese Haliburton win Round 1 vs. James Wiseman, Immanuel Quickley, Anthony Edwards
The winners of NBA Rookies of the Month for December and January were announced Tuesday morning, with Sacramento Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton taking it from the Western Conference and Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball winning the award from the Eastern Conference.
The Kia NBA Rookies of the Month for December and January! #KiaROTM
— NBA (@NBA) February 2, 2021
Neither of these should really be a surprise, as James Wiseman, Anthony Edwards, and Immanuel Quickley rounded out the top five.
Haliburton has been as advertised for the Kings, posting averages of 10.7 points, 3.8 boards, and 5.4 assists per game, and has been getting more minutes lately coming off the bench for Luke Walton’s team.
LaMelo Ball has been somewhat confusing so far, but, lately, his minutes have ramped up and his production has also increased in turn. Ball is averaging 12.2 points with 5.9 rebounds and 6.1 assists in the early stages of the year, and the injury of Terry Rozier gave Ball a career-high outing on Saturday against the Milwaukee Bucks as the youngest Ball brother finished with 27 points, five boards, and nine dimes.
Both players have come off the bench for much of the season, and for that matter so have Wiseman, Quickley, and Edwards.
Quickley has emerged as of late for the New York Knicks as he has scored 25 or more points three times in the last five games as coach Tom Thibodeau has released the floodgates and given him a shot.
Wiseman got benched last week for Kevon Looney in a surprising move, but he responded with a career-high 20 points. The second overall pick is averaging 12.2 points and 6.1 boards, and once his minutes go up his production will go up.
Edwards, the No. 1 pick, has been in and out of the starting group for the Minnesota Timberwolves due to injuries and COVID-19 issues in Minnesota, He is averaging 13.6 points a game, the highest among the rookies, but has a ways to go to catch Haliburton and Ball.
If Ball and Haliburton continue to play more minutes, it should come down to those two at the season’s end for NBA Rookie of the Year.