Shootaround Access: Wolves vs. Jazz | April 16, 2014
While the Utah Jazz and Minnesota Timberwolves won’t be playing in the postseason, there is some hardware up for grab tonight at the Target Center.
Utah guard Trey Burke and Minnesota center Gorgui Dieng look to be the leaders for April’s Western Conference Rookie of the Month Award. You might remember that Dieng won the award last month. If Dieng were to win this month, he would be the first player in team history to win multiple Rookie of the Month awards in a single season.
This month, Dieng is averaging 12.9 points per game, fourth among rookies. His bread and butter comes with his rebounding and blocks, though. His 11.1 rebounds per game in April ranks first among rookies and it’s not even close. Michael Carter-Williams of Philadelphia is second with 7.7. Dieng is also leading rookies with two blocks per game.
Burke hasn’t been too shabby himself. He’s averaging 12.8 points per game, fifth among rookies. He’s averaging nine assists per game, first among rookies and 1.7 better than Sacramento’s Ray McCallum.
Right now, it looks as if Dieng has the edge, but a monster performance from Burke could change that. Good thing for Dieng, Minnesota point guard Ricky Rubio has done a fairly good job of slowing Burke down in three games so far this season.
In three games against the Wolves, Burke is averaging 11.3 points and 4.3 assists per game. He’s shooting just 33.3 percent from the field.
Dieng has played in just 11.4 minutes per game in three contests against Utah, and he’s averaging 4.7 points and four rebounds per game. He’s shooting 77.8 percent from the field.
While award giving isn’t exactly a science, it appears as if Dieng outperforms Burke tonight, he’ll take away Rookie of the Month honors. Just something to watch for.