Norman Powell named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month

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Norman Powell has been named the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for April.
The Toronto Raptors rookie has been phenomenal over the season’s final six weeks, and he earned an honorable mention for the award in March. He then took his play even higher, averaging 15.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.4 steals over seven April games while shooting 54.8 percent overall and 53.6 percent on threes. This, all as he provided stellar defense across three positions and took on a much heavier load as the Raptors worked to get key players rest.
He punctuated his half-month with a career-high 30 points on the final night of the season. That outing pushed his season-long averages to 5.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, and one assist in 14.8 minutes over 49 games, but looking at a full season does Powell a serious disservice. There was early-season Powell, a rookie mostly glued to the bench and who didn’t really run with a small opportunity early in the year, then dominant D-League season Powell, then run-with-the-job end-of-season Powell. He’s come a long way, and his rapid development has been one of the most fun storylines of a very fun season.
His nod as Rookie of the Month is the first time a Raptors rookie has earned it since Jonas Valanciunas in March of 2013. Nine different Raptors freshman have now combined to win a monthly honor 12 times.
Powell’s performance has been so strong that he’s not only played his way into the rotation, but it could be tough for head coach Dwane Casey to pull him from the starting lineup when the playoffs open Saturday. This guy was the 46th pick.
Speaking of coaches, Indiana’s Frank Vogel was named the East Coach of the Month. LeBron James was given Player of the Month.
Follow @raptorsrepublicFollow @BlakeMurphyODCNorman Powell named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month originated on Raptors Republic: ESPN TrueHoop Network Blog.


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