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.