Donovan Mitchell Named Western Conference Rookie of the Month for February
The NBA announced today that Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell has been named the Kia NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month for games played during February. Mitchell has now earned Western Conference Rookie of the Month honors for December, January and February, becoming the first rookie in the West to garner the accolade in three-straight months since Karl-Anthony Towns in 2015-16.
The 6-3, 215-pound guard averaged 21.4 points (best among all rookies), 4.2 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.3 steals in 34.6 minutes per game during the month, helping Utah to a 9-2 record in February. The Jazz won 11-straight games from Jan. 4 to Feb. 14, with Mitchell becoming the first rookie in NBA history to lead his team in scoring during an 11-game win streak, passing Wilt Chamberlain who led the Philadelphia Warriors in scoring during a 10-game win streak during the 1959-60 season.
The Louisville product totaled seven games with 20-or-more points (most among rookies in the month) and exploded for 40 points on 14-of-19 from the field at Phoenix on Feb. 2, becoming the first rookie to notch two 40-point games in a season since Blake Griffin in 2010-11. Mitchell was crowned the 2018 NBA Verizon Slam Dunk Champion at All-Star Weekend, also competing in the 2018 MTN Dew Kickstart Rising Stars Challenge during the month.
On the year, Mitchell is averaging an NBA rookie-best 19.6 points, along with 3.5 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 58 games (50 starts). He has connected on 137 threes this season, which is the most by a first-year player through their first 60 games in NBA history. Since Dec. 1, the first-year Jazzman owns averages of 22.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.5 steals per contest.
The 21-year-old becomes the second player in franchise history to win the monthly rookie honor three times in a season, joining Trey Burke (December 2013, January 2014 and April 2014). The award, which has been given monthly since the 1981-82 season, was originally the NBA Rookie of the Month before splitting into Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month in 2001-02.
Here is a closer look at some of the month’s highlights for Mitchell:
Feb. 2 at Phoenix: In a 129-97 win over the Suns, finished with 40 points on 14-of-19 field goals (.737), 7-of-9 three-point field goals (.778) and 5-of-5 on free throws (1.000). He became the first rookie since 1983-84 to log 40 points on at least 70 percent shooting from the field, 100 percent from the foul line and seven three-pointers made.
Feb. 9 vs. Charlotte: Had a game-high 25 points along with six rebounds and four assists in a 106-94 victory against the Hornets.
Feb. 12 vs. San Antonio: Scored 13 of his game-high 25 points in the fourth quarter to help erase a 13-point Spurs lead in the final frame and secure a 101-99 win.
Feb. 26 vs. Dallas: Poured in 25 points (13 in the third quarter), six boards, five assists and two steals to help the Jazz to a 97-90 win against the Mavericks.
Mitchell shares February’s Rookie of the Month honors with Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons who received the accolade in the Eastern Conference.