By Hocine LOUKKAF on 3/3/2020
Less than 20 games into his rookie season, Zion has already displayed why he’s one of the shiniest rising stars in this league.
Zion Williamson, PF, New Orleans Pelicans (25.7pts 6.2rbds 2.6as in February)
Zion didn’t lose any time showing what he got, overpowering every opponent as he scored at least 55% fg in seven of his nine games in February. He also averaged ten free throws per game, a good sign of his activity in the paint. The Pels won five games including two against Portland, a direct opponent for a playoff spot. Williamson could yet improve his rebounding and show more assertiveness on defense.
Ja Morant, PG, Memphis Grizzlies (18.7pts 6.8as)
After a good start in February with wins over Dallas and Portland and a triple double against Washington, Morant struggled a bit after the All Star break as the Grizzlies lost five games in a row, with Morant combining only six assists in the first three losses. Morant finished better as he had two double-doubles with points and assists including one in a win against the Lakers.
Coby White, PG/SG, Chicago Bulls (20.1pts 4.1as 4rbds 41% 3pt)
After starting February awfully with five games under 35% from the field, White moved on with a streak of three games over 30pts and a combined 22/39 from three (sic) over the last four games of the month. If White can handle the PG duty and display some consistency from outside, he could enter the starting line-up for a long time.
Brandon Clarke, PF, Memphis Grizzlies (11.4pts 6.3rbds)
the perfect opposite of White, Clarke is somehow averaging the same stats as the months go by. After matching his scoring season-high with 27pts against the Blazers just before the All Star break, Clarke kept performing with two 10+rbd-games against the Kings and the Lakers. Unfortunately, he injured his quad the next game and has been sidelined since then.
Kendrick Nunn, PG/SG, Miami Heat (14.5pts 3.5as)
After a poor start in February where he had five games below 32% fg, Nunn bounced back well after the All Star break as he had six games over 47% fg (four over 58% fg) including four 20pt+ games. Unfortunately, two of those 20pt games ended with losses against supposedly weaker teams, Minnesota and Cleveland.
Jordan Mclaughlin, PG, Minnesota (10.1pts 4.9as 0.8to 4% 3pt)
Except a Christmas Eve game where he scored 19pts and delivered 4as against the Warriors, McLaughlin’s season was pretty quiet until February. Despite recording only two wins for nine losses, the rookie, albeit still inconsistent, showed poise as he averaged a 6+ a/to ratio while shooting 44% from three and 50+% from the field. In the process, he also had two double-doubles with points and assists and averaged 17pts and 8as in the four games he was given more than 20min.
DeAndre Hunter, SF, Atlanta Hawks (13.8pts 6.8rbds 46% 3pt)
Hunter has improved dramatically in two very important stats categories for a SF, 3pt shooting and rebounding. After averaging around 30% in December and January (after averaging 39% in November), Hunter averaged a terrific 45% on more than five attempts per game. Above all, considering his physical tools, he saw his rebounding number take a leap with almost 7rbds per game including two games with 10 rbds or more (he had only one until February this season).
Kevin Porter Jr, SG/SF, Cleveland Cavaliers (13.5pts 3.5rbds 3.1as)
In a once again disappointing season for the Cavs, KPJ may be one of the only bright spots. Porter Jr scored in double-digits in al but three games in February, including a 30pt outburst in a win against the Cavs. His 3pt shooting remained solid with 37+% from three but the rookie needs to be more consistent as he had too many games under 40% fg.
Cam Reddish, SG/SF, Atlanta Hawks (13.4pts 3rbds)
Thins are far from being perfect but at least they are improving. After suffering a face contusion against the Mavs which sidelined him for ten days, Reddish came back prettywell with a streak of seven games in double-digits including two 20pt-games. He also did a better job from three with four games with 50% or more despite combining only 1/15 in the three other games.
Rui Hachimura, PF, Washington Wizards (13.9pts 6.4rbds)
Hachimura kept producing consistently with only one game under 10pts and eight out of eleven games with at east 50% fg. His 3pt shot is coming along as he averaged 47% albeit on a small sample (less than two attempts per game). He really needs to improve his rebounding and defensive numbers in general to impact more the game.
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