For the second straight month, Tyrese Haliburton has earned Western Conference Rookie of the Month honors. And for the second straight month, his Eastern Conference counterpart is LaMelo Ball.
Once again, the Western Conference finalists were Desmond Bane, Anthony Edwards, and Jae’Sean Tate, creating a clear pecking order for eventual Rookie of the Year and all-Rookie team balloting. James Wiseman fell out of the pool this month due to being injured for most of February.
Alas, it doesn’t seem like Haliburton has gained any ground on Ball in being the overall Rookie of the Year. What could have been a fun showdown between the two rookie point guards Sunday was put on hold when Haliburton missed the game with a calf injury, and then the no. 3 overall pick helped lead his team to a miraculous comeback while Haliburton was on the bench.
Haliburton averaged 16.2 points, 5.3 assists, and 3.8 rebounds per game during February, though the Kings went 4-9 in his appearances. He shot 45 percent on six 3-point attempts per game and made 83.3 percent of his free throws. Given his efficiency, he probably needs to get to the line more often, especially as a primary ball handler.
The Kings just presented Haliburton’s January award to him Sunday, which happened to coincide with the rookie’s 21st birthday (at least kind of, since he’s a leap year baby). It will be hard to find a more fitting occasion to give Haliburton his next honor, though tomorrow night against the Lakers could be fun.