Philadelphia’s Simmons And Los Angeles Lakers’ Kuzma Named Kia NBA Rookies Of The Month
Kyle Kuzma (left) and Ben Simmons (right) (AP photos)
The Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma today were named the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month, respectively, for games played in October and November.
Simmons led all rookies in scoring (18.6 ppg), rebounding (9.4 rpg) and steals (2.25 spg) and tied for the lead in assists (7.2 apg) in 20 games during October and November. The 6-10 guard/forward also shot 50.7 percent from the field, the second-highest mark among first-year players. He recorded two triple-doubles in his first nine career games, joining Oscar Robertson as the only players in NBA history to accomplish the feat. On Nov. 29, Simmons recorded career highs of 31 points and 18 rebounds as Philadelphia defeated the Washington Wizards 118-113. The Australian native helped the 76ers close November with a 12-9 record.
Kuzma paced Western Conference rookies in scoring (16.7 ppg) and field goal percentage (50.4). He ranked second among West rookies in rebounding (6.1 rpg) and third in three-point field goal percentage (37.9). The 6-9 forward scored in double figures in 18 of 20 games. On Nov. 17, Kuzma scored 30 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in a 122-113 loss to the Phoenix Suns, becoming the first Lakers rookie to reach those totals in a game since Magic Johnson in the 1979-80 season. In 11 starts for Los Angeles (8-13), Kuzma averaged 18.1 points and 7.5 rebounds.
Here are additional highlights for Simmons and Kuzma in October and November:
Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers
Oct. 23 @ Detroit: Posted 21 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in a 97-86 win over the Pistons, registering a triple-double in his fourth career game.
Nov. 3 vs. Indiana: Notched 14 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in a 121-110 victory over the Pacers.
Nov. 15 @ L.A. Lakers: Notched 18 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and five steals in a 115-109 win against the Lakers.
Kyle Kuzma, Los Angeles Lakers
Oct. 31 vs. Detroit: Made all four of his three-point shots and recorded 16 points and six rebounds in a 113-93 win over the Pistons.
Nov. 3 vs. Brooklyn: Shot 8-of-11 from the field and finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds in a 124-112 victory against the Nets.
Nov. 21 vs. Chicago: Scored 22 points and handed out five assists in a 103-94 victory over the Bulls.
Other nominees for the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month were Atlanta’s John Collins, Boston’s Jayson Tatum, Chicago’s Lauri Markkanen, Dallas’ Dennis Smith Jr., the Los Angeles Lakers’ Lonzo Ball, Phoenix’s Mike James, Sacramento’s Bogdan Bogdanovic, De’Aaron Fox and Frank Mason III, and Utah’s Donovan Mitchell.