Latest posts by Raphael Haynes (see all)
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ATLANTA – Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young was named Kia NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for the second consecutive month, it was announced today. The first-year guard from the University of Oklahoma has now received the conference’s top rookie honor for games played in November, January and February, becoming the first Hawks player to receive the award three times since Al Horford in 2007-08.
In 12 February games (all starts), Young averaged 23.3 points, 9.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds per contest on .410 FG%, .437 3FG% and .840 FT%. Per the Elias Sports Bureau, Young became the first rookie to average at least 23.3 points and 9.3 assists in a month (min. 10 games) since Oscar Robertson in February 1961. Young’s 10 games with at least eight helpers led all Eastern Conference players and tied for the most by any NBA player for the month.
The No. 5 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Young led all NBA players by producing three contests with at least 30 points and eight assists in February, the most in any month for a rookie since Stephen Curry had three such games in March 2010. The 6-foot-2-inch guard compiled 30 points and 10 assists on Feb. 22 vs. Detroit, scored a career-high 36 points (eight assists) on Feb. 25 at Houston, and matched it the next game (36 points/10 assists) on Feb. 27 vs. Minnesota. Young’s two consecutive 36-point nights made him the first rookie since Allen Iverson in 1997 to score at least 35 points in two straight games.
Young’s 36-point effort on Feb. 27 included a career-high 16 made free throws and established him as the first rookie since LeBron James to post a stat line with at least 35 points, 10 assists and 16 makes from the charity stripe. The last time a first-year player converted 16 free-throw attempts was April 3, 2013 (Jonas Valanciunas).
For the month, Young led rookies from both conferences in points (280), assists (111), field goals made (87), three-pointers made (38) and free throws made (68), while tying for the lead in double-doubles (six). Young’s three games with least 30 points and his fourth-quarter scoring average (7.5 ppg) each led the 2019 draft class, and his six contests with at least 10 assists were twice as many as the rest of the rookie class combined.