NBA releases monthly awards for March

NBA releases monthly awards for March

The NBA announced its award winners for February for Rookie, Coach, and Player of the Month on Thursday. 

Starting with the Rookie of the Month honors, Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Anthony Edwards took home his first Western Conference Rookie of the Month award. Edwards made huge strides during March, averaging 24.2 points per game and 5.5 rebounds as well. His scoring prowress during March did place him among some elite company as well, as it was the third-highest average points per game for a teen. 

In the Eastern Conference, LaMelo Ball took home the Rookie of the Month award for the third time this year, despite missing part of the month with a fractured wrist that may cost him the rest of his season. Ball averaged 18.5 points, 5.4 assists, and 5.3 rebounds per game during the month, but hasn't played since March 20. 

The other Rookie of the Month candidates in the Western Conference were Sacramento's Tyrese Haliburton, Oklahoma City's Théo Maledon and Aleksej Pokuševski, and Houston's Jae’Sean Tate and Detroit's Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart, New York's Immanuel Quickley, and Chicago's Patrick Williams in the Eastern Conference. 

As for Players of the Month, Denver's Nikola Jokic took home the award for the Western Conference, while Brooklyn's James Harden won in the Eastern Conference. 

Jokic's award is the second of his career, after he also took home the honor for games played in December and January of this season as well. In March, Jokic averaged 27.1 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 8.4 assists per game for the Nuggets while leading the team to a 11-3 record. 

As for Harden, this is his second Eastern Conference Player of the Month award, in just his second month as an Eastern Conference player, repeating his award from February. For the Nets, Harden has been one of the best players in the entire league. In March he averaged 27.9 points, 11.5 assists, and 9.8 reounds for the Nets while leading the team to a 11-2 record as Brooklyn reached first-place in the Eastern Conference for the first time since 2003. 

The other Player of the Month candidates in the Western Conference were Dallas' Luka Dončić, Sacramento's De’Aaron Fox, Portland's Damian Lillard, Utah's Donovan Mitchell, Memphis' Ja Morant, and New Orleans' Zion Williamson. In the Eastern Conference, Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo, Philadelphia's Tobias Harris, Brooklyn's Kyrie Irving, and Washington's Russell Westbrook were the other candidates.

Finally, the Western Conference Coach of the Month was Phoenix's Monty Williams and the Eastern Conference Coach of the Month was Atlanta's interim coach, Nate McMillian. 

The Suns went 11-3 in March under Williams, while McMillian took over for Lloyd Pierce on March 1, and the Hawks went 9-4 under his leadership. 

Other nominees for the Coach of the Month awards were Denver's Michael Malone, Portland's Terry Stotts, and Sacramento's Luke Walton in the Western Conference and Charlotte's James Borrego, Brooklyn's Steve Nash, and Philadelphia's Doc Rivers in the Eastern Conference.

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