Kyrie Irving Named NBA's Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month
CLEVELAND, OH - March 1, 2012 - Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving was named today as the NBA’s Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in the month of February.
Irving played in 10 games during February and averaged 19.3 points on .422 shooting, 3.8 rebounds and 5.6 assists in 35.3 minutes per game. During the month, he ranked 1st in scoring, three-point percentage, free throw percentage and assists among Eastern Conference rookies. Irving scored 20 or more points in six of 10 games (the most 20-point games by a rookie in the month) and shot at least .500 from the field four times in games played in February. Irving also averaged 6.8 points per fourth quarter in the month, which was the most among all Eastern Conference rookies.
For the month, Irving shot 41-43 (.953) from the free throw line and has currently made 31 consecutive free throws. His .953 free throw percentage is the highest by a rookie in a month since Chauncey Billups set an NBA rookie record by going 41 for 41 in March 1998 (minimum 40 free throw attempts).
Irving notched a game-high tying 23 points, including 5-5 from the foul line, in 39 minutes against Sacramento on Feb. 19. Trailing by one with 2.9 seconds remaining, Irving knocked down two free throws to win the game. Irving scored 25 points on 8-15 (.533) shooting to go along with eight assists in 39 minutes of work against the Pistons on Feb. 21. In the fourth quarter, Irving scored 17 points on 6-9 (.667) shooting, including 3-3 from three-point range. The 6-foot-3 rookie set a career high in assists with 11, with only two turnovers against the Hornets on Feb. 22.
Other nominees for Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month were Charlotte’s Kemba Walker, Detroit’s Brandon Knight and New Jersey’s MarShon Brooks.