The Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons and the Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell today were named the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month, respectively, for games played in January.
Simmons tied for the lead among Eastern Conference rookies in scoring (17.1 ppg) and led all first-year NBA players in assists (6.7 apg) in January. He also paced East rookies in steals (1.42 spg), ranked second among all rookies in field goal percentage (59.7) and added 5.3 rebounds. The 6-10 guard/forward helped the 76ers post a 7-5 record, including two wins over the San Antonio Spurs and one each against the Boston Celtics and the Toronto Raptors. On Jan. 24, Simmons reached a triple-double early in the third quarter and finished with 19 points, 17 rebounds and 14 assists in a 115-101 home win over the Chicago Bulls.
Mitchell won the Kia NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month award for the second month in a row. In January, he led all rookies in scoring (22.2 ppg) and steals (1.54 spg) to go with 3.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists. The 6-3 guard scored 20 points or more in eight of 13 games, including two games with at least 30 points. In his final two games of January, Mitchell scored 26 points in a 97-93 victory at the Toronto Raptors on Jan. 26, followed by 20 points, four assists and four steals in a 129-99 home win over the Golden State Warriors. Those two victories gave Utah a 6-7 record for the month.