While he might be seeing some competition from Indiana Pacers rookie Bennedict Mathurin, Orlando Magic rookie Paolo Banchero is easily the front runner for the NBA’s Rookie of the Year Award. Banchero only strengthened his case during Wednesday’s win against the Atlanta Hawks with his stat line of 20 points, six rebounds and six assists. Wednesday’s game was the fifth time Banchero has put up at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists this season. No other rookie has done that this year as per the Twitter page StatMuse.
The only rookie with multiple 20/5/5 games. He has 5 of them. pic.twitter.com/yp6gJwoi2b
— StatMuse (@statmuse) December 15, 2022
The No. 1 overall pick out of Duke University, Paolo Banchero made an immediate impression during summer league in Las Vegas and the Magic sat him down after only two games.
Banchero missed seven straight games earlier this season with an injury, but since he’s returned to the lineup he’s picked up right where he left off. As a rookie, he’s become the Magic’s go to player in the clutch. He’s most recently had five straight games of scoring at least 20 points.
On the season, Banchero is putting up 21.8 points per game, 6.9 rebounds and 3.8 assists while shooting 45.5 percent from the field. The only area that he’s really struggled with a bit is his three-point shooting where he’s only averaging 25.3 percent.
The Magic have had two players win Rookie of the Year before, Shaquille O’Neal in 1993 and Mike Miller in 2001. The Magic had been on a nine game losing streak but behind Banchero they have won four straight games. They currently sit at 9-20 overall.