Beyond the Arc
By Ben Fiore
This NBA season has certainly been an unorthodox one.
Thankfully, we still have basketball going on and we get to see a continuation of a year we thought we were going to get even more so short changed on. Despite the shortened season, business still needs settled and some of that business is the annual awards, including rookie of the year.
During the pre-season, Zion Williamson of the Pelicans was slotted as the odds-on favorite to win the award. He is a finalist, but it’s not going to be a unanimous decision like most of us thought. The other two finalists are Ja Morant of the Grizzlies and Kendrick Nunn of the Heat.
Morant is the front runner of the group averaging 17.8 PPG, 3.7 RPG, and 7.2 APG. He has been fun to watch and has proven he is not just a high flyer but an all around baller.
Back to Zion, he had an injury this year which stunted his stardom, but has still proven to be a commodity in keeping the Pelicans relevant. He has shown to be dominant in the bubble. This season he is averaging 22.5 PPG, 6.3 RPG, and 2.1 APG. Still, a very impressive run despite injury. If this season has proven anything for him, it’s that Zion should be a star for years to come.
Shocking us all was a late draft pick by the Heat in Kendrick Nunn. He splits starts with Goran Dragic in Miami, which as a rookie, is quite impressive. Considering he was the Heat’s 2nd pick behind Tyler Herro, it’s impressive that he became a finalist. Nunn is posting 15.2 PPG, 2.7 RPG, and 3.3 APG. He is a well rounded player being sound in all fundamentals of basketball. I got to see him play in person this year and was in awe.
Though most thought this would be a hands down Zion award, Morant and Nunn have proved their worth in making a much tighter three way race. I look forward to seeing what else these guys can do in the bubble to push voters in their direction this year. Best of luck to all three guys!