NBA Rookie of the Year Watch: Jan. 23
The NBA All-Star break is fast approaching and some rookies in this year's class continue to make a case for not only that game but for the Rookie of the Year award as well.
Here’s a look at how some of the top contenders have fared over the past week of action.
Paolo Banchero, F, Orlando Magic
Banchero remains the favorite for the award in many’s eyes and may even have an outside shot at the All Star game.
The top pick played three games this past week and scored in double-figures in every contest.
His best performance came against the Denver Nuggets where Banchero put up 18 points and four assists.
Banchero leads the Magic averaging 20.7 points and 3.8 assists per game this season and also places third on the team in rebounds.
Bennedict Mathurin, G, Indiana Pacers
Mathurin has also been making his case at an All Star game bid with his play in recent weeks, despite a seven-game losing streak from his Pacers.
During a four-game stretch this week, Mathurin’s best game came in his most recent outing against the Phoenix Suns.
Mathurin put up 23 points and five rebounds in the loss.
That was the fourth 20-point game for Mathurin in the month of January as he currently ranks third on the Pacers in points per game this season with 17.3.
Jalen Williams, F, Oklahoma City Thunder
Williams has been an exciting player to watch blossom recently in Oklahoma City.
The No. 12 overall pick had his best all-around performance of the week on Wednesday in a battle with Mathurin’s Pacers.
Williams put up 11 points, seven rebounds, six assists and four steals in the win.
That game was the third time Williams has recorded four or more steals this month as he averages 2.2 steals in January and ranks third on the Thunder in that category this season with one per game.
Walker Kessler, C, Utah Jazz
The seven-footer makes his way onto the list as he continues to help the Jazz stay close to the .500 mark.
Kessler has been a double-double machine this past week posting three of them out of a possible four games.
That includes a performance of the ages against the Minnesota Timberwolves where Kessler not only scored 20 points but also came down with 21 rebounds in the win.
Kessler’s rebound total was a new career high while the point total was his second 20-point game of his career.
Jaden Ivey, G, Detroit Pistons
Closing out this week’s list, Ivey has managed to remain consistent despite his Pistons standing at an Eastern Conference-worst 12-36.
Ivey scored in double figures in each of his games this week.
That includes his performance to start the week against the New York Knicks where Ivey put up 21 points, six rebounds and six assists in a losing effort.
Ivey has scored double-digit points in every game this month.
Logan Bourandas is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
About the Contributors
Third-Year / Broadcast Journalism