While Ja Morant has been plenty busy creating and cultivating new rivalries off the court over the past 24 hours, he continues to prove he likely has no rival when it comes to the race for NBA Rookie of the Year this season. Morant was named the NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month for the third straight month, sweeping the honor so far this season. His excellent play was a big reason the Grizzlies had their best overall record for a calendar month in years, while also becoming firmly established as playoff contenders.
The @NBA has announced that @JaMorant has been named the @Kia Western Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in January.— Grizzlies PR (@GrizzliesPR) February 4, 2020
Morant led the @memgrizz to an 11-4 January record, tied for the best record in the Western Conference. pic.twitter.com/YW2ygGmabN
Morant has continued to improve each month he has been on the court, even as he plays more minutes. Along with an increase in his scoring and assist numbers, Morant also finished the month of January shooting 54.2% from the field, while producing a 115 Offensive Rating and a 60.5% True Shooting percentage. The quality of Morant’s play, especially offensively, continues to improve. He has reached the level where his play is not just impressive for a rookie; he truly has become one of the better point guards and most must-see players in the league.
Last month, @JaMorant became the first rookie this century to average 17+ points and 8+ assists while shooting 50%+ from the field in a single calendar month.— Grizzlies PR (@GrizzliesPR) February 4, 2020
Morant's three monthly rookie awards ties him with @PauGasol (2001-02) for the most in @memgrizz franchise history.
Though odds are Morant will likely earn it again this month, it will be fun to see if he can maintain his excellent level of play. Better competition and more travel will be involved. However, Morant will also get the chance to perform in the spotlight of the 2020 NBA All-Star Game. Overall, a wonderful season for Morant and the Grizzlies continues to become a better reality than anyone expected.