The Minnesota Timberwolves made Karl-Anthony Towns the No. 1 pick in the draft, and Towns rewarded them with an excellent first month-plus, which earned him Western Conference Rookie of the Month honors for October/November. In the Eastern Conference, it wasn’t Philadelphia 76ers big man Jahlil Okafor who took home the award, but instead New York Knicks phenom Kristaps Porzingis.
Towns averaged 14.4 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in 27.8 minutes per game over October and November. He shot 52.6 percent from the field and has shown the ability to be an elite defender.
Towns’s biggest performance came in just the second game of his career when he went for 28 points and 14 rebounds in a win over the Denver Nuggets.
Then there’s Porzingis, who’s taken New York City by storm with his surprisingly excellent play. The rapid development of the 20-year-old Latvian has the Knicks looking better than expected and possibly in line for a playoff berth.
In 18 games through October and November, Porzingis averaged 13.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks. He shot just 42.5 percent overall and 30 percent from three, but he’s been improving as the season has gone on.
Porzingis has put forth several monster performances, including a 29-point, 11-rebound effort against the Charlotte Hornets on Nov. 17 and a 24-point, 14-rebound, 7-block showing on Nov. 21 against the Houston Rockets.