Sixers Center Joel Embiid Named NBA’s Eastern Conference Rookie Of The Month
PHILADELPHIA, PA – FEBRUARY 2, 2017 – Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid was named the Kia NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in January, the NBA announced today. Embiid has won the award each month this season, and he leads all rookies in scoring, rebounding and blocks per game. He is also first among qualified rookies in both field-goal and free-throw percentage.
Embiid averaged 23 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three blocks in 27 minutes per game in nine January games. He scored 20 or more points in eight of his nine January games, while all other rookies combined for six 20-point games throughout the month. Embiid was the only rookie with more than one 20-point game.
Embiid scored 32 points against the Houston Rockets on Jan. 27, one shy of his career-high and he is the only NBA rookie this season with multiple 30-point games this season (no other rookie has reached the 30-point mark in a game).
Embiid averaged 2.6 blocks per game in January, tied with Rudy Gobert for the league lead. Embiid has blocked 76 shots on this season, which is tied for 12th in the league, despite playing in 10 fewer games than any other player with at least 76 blocks.
The seven-footer finished the month of January with 75 free throws made, sixth-most in the Eastern Conference despite playing in four fewer games than any other player. Only All-Stars Jimmy Butler, DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry, Isaiah Thomas and LeBron James made more free throws among Eastern Conference players in January.
Embiid made 37 free throws in a three-game stretch (Jan. 13-18), converting on 80 percent of his 46 free-throw attempts. He became the first NBA rookie to make at least 37 free throws over a three-game span since former Sixers player Jerry Stackhouse made 38 from December 1-5, 1995.
Embiid posted three double-doubles in January, including a 22-point, 12-rebound game in a win over Milwaukee on Jan. 16. He also set a new career-high of 14 rebounds in a win over the New York Knicks in January, while matching career-highs in blocks (five on Jan. 16 at Milwaukee), steals (three on Jan. 27 vs. Houston) and assists (five on Jan. 20 vs. Portland).
He is averaging 20 points, eight rebounds, two assists and three blocks per game. He is the only player since at least 1983-84 to hold such averages through 31 career games. Removing assists, he is the first player since Orlando’s Shaquille O’Neal to post averages of 20 points, eight rebounds and three blocks in their first 31 career games – San Antonio’s David Robinson is the only other player to do so since 1983-84.
The last NBA rookie to average 20 points, eight rebounds and three blocks per game for a full season was the Spurs’ Tim Duncan in 1997-98; just five players have done so in league history.