Minnesota Timberwolf and former UK Wildcat Karl Anthony Towns just had one of the best rookie seasons the NBA has seen in its modern era. So unless you are president of the Kristaps Porzingis fan club, it was no surprise when news leaked Sunday night that Towns would be named NBA Rookie of the Year. Big Blue Nation knew would do well in the league, but what he did this year was straight-up historic…Really? Yes, Really.
The first-year center led all rookies in points (18.3/game), rebounds (10.5/game), double-doubles (51), field goal percentage (54.3%), and player efficiency rating (22.59). Not too shabby.
Furthermore despite playing in all 82 contest, Towns’ numbers improved as the season progressed and never hit the proverbial “rookie wall” near midseason like some of his contemporaries. In the last 31 games of the year, he averaged about 21-12 and shot 55%.
Still not impressed? What if I told you you had to go all the way back to the 1997-98 season to find such a prolific performance from a rookie big man? What if I told you Towns had the best PER from a rookie since ESPN started to track the stat in 2002? Even better than King James.
Towns received plenty of praise along the way racking up Rookie of the Months left and right. Even former-MVP Kevin Durant took notice and stating Towns is a bonafide future Hall of Famer. I mean when you are third in the league in dub-dubs and you are only 20 years old, that merits league-wide acclaim.
Newly hired Twolves Head Coach Tom Thibodeau has to be sleeping well tonight knowing two of his players have been recognized as ROTY. Minnesota still has a lot of issues as a team. But with the right adjustments and Thibs’ defensive approach, it is not out of the question this team could finish above .500 for the first time in 12 years.
Cheers to you, Karl!
I’m sure you will be celebrating the news with a cold glass of milk as you are still underage. Don’t worry, I’ll throw a couple of brewskis back in your stead.