Charlotte Hornets rookie guard LaMelo Ball has been named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month.
243 Points— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) February 2, 2021
Your @NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month: @MELOD1P #AllFly x #NBAAllStar | https://t.co/ZMRCJpSZXV pic.twitter.com/YWQjYB3rAZ
This isn’t surprising. Ball should currently be the front runner for Rookie of the Year, and most of his top competition is out in the Western Conference. He ranks among the best rookies in most meaningful stat categories with per-game averages of 12.2 points (3rd), 5.9 rebounds (2nd), 6.1 assists (1st), and 1.4 steals (1st). While his scoring efficiency isn’t great yet, it’s probably better than a lot of people expected coming into this season—he’s shooting 42.3% from the field, 30.8% from three, and 78.2% from the free throw line.
Ball’s progress over the first month-plus of his NBA career has been nothing short of astounding. His game is markedly improving seemingly week over week, and it seems like there’s a new wrinkle to his style of play every time he steps on the floor. And he’s doing all of this as a 19-year-old with little prep coming into the season. Imagine what it’ll be like when he’s 23 or something.