For the third consecutive month, Wizards rookie point guard John Wall was named the T-Mobile Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for March.
His closest competition for the award just might have been teammate Jordan Crawford, who will start at point guard on Friday against the Cavaliers while Wall serves his one game suspension for the Wednesday night altercation with Heat center Zydrunas Ilgauskas.
Wall led all Eastern Conference rookies in assists with 8.6 per game, and steals with 1.7 per games. His 18.1 points per game were second only to Crawford, who had 18.2 points per games.
Wall becomes the first player in Bullets/Wizards franchise history to win the honor for three straight months.
“I think he’s had a great rookie season,” Wizards coach Flip Saunders said.
“When you look at the injuries that he had at the beginning of the year which really kind of set him back a lot, but here’s a guy averaging 8.6 assists.”
For a rookie point guard, multiple injuries and changing lineups can be especially challenging, Saunders explained.
“It’s not like we have Ray Allen and Paul Pierce on the wings throwing to ball to, or a great amount of shooters. That’s not what we have. So he’s 5th in the league, or 6th in the league as far as steals, he was averaging 16 points and almost 9 assists,” Saunders said.
“He’s a set up guy. We knew that when we took him that the main part of his game is not his offense. But that’s something that he’s worked on. He’s had to become more offensive minded here lately with the guys going down,” Saunders said.
“That has probably facilitated his progression in that way, but I think he’s had a great year. He’s done everything that we expected him to do in the type of situation he’s been in.”