The NBA announced Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) that Cleveland Cavalier Kyrie Irving and Sacramento King Isaiah Thomas have been named as Eastern Conference and Western Conference Rookie of the Month, respectively, for March.
It was the second straight month that the pair has received the honor, and the third straight citation for Irving, this season's overall number one draft pick.
Irving, a former Duke Blue Devil, averaged 19.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 1.5 steals for the month, lead all rookies in scoring and assists. He also was second in free throw percentage, hitting 88.1 percent of his charities. His clutch skill was likewise on display, lead all rookies in fourth-quarter scoring with 7.4 points per game.
One highlight of Irving for the month was helping his Cavaliers upset the NBA-leading Oklahoma City Thunder last March 9 (March 10, PHL time), 96-90, a game in which he had a career-best 12 dimes.
The last player drafted this season, Thomas normed 13.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.3 steals during the month. The speedy floor general also led all rookies during the month in fast break points with 64 markers and free throws made with 54 charities.
Thomas definitely shone in his team's 104-103 squeaker over the Utah Jazz, posting 19 points, seven assists, five boards, and two swipes last March 30 (March 31, PHL time). He also had a career-best 28 points in a close 117-112 loss to the San Antonio Spurs last March 28 (March 29, PHL time).
Other nominees for the monthly citation included Denver Nugget Kenneth Faried, Houston Rocket Chandler Parsons, Detroit Piston Brandon Knight and Charlotte Bobcat Kemba Walker.