Jonas Valanciunas may well be on his way to an Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month honour for April after starting the month with 53 points, 20 rebounds and 10 blocks through his first three games, but it was the big Lithuanian’s performance in March that has earned him his first such award.
The NBA announced on Friday that Valanciunas and Trail Blazers rookie (and Rookie of the Year frontrunner) Damian Lillard were named Rookies of the Month for March.
Valanciunas averaged 11.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and only three fouls in 27 minutes per game in March while shooting 62 percent from the field and 82 per cent from the free throw line. In addition, Jonas posted a ridiculous true shooting percentage of .669 over 15 games in March and posted per-36-minute averages of 15.2 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.5 blocks.
If JV really can finish the year out with back-to-back Rookie of the Month honours, then you have to wonder whether he’ll also be rewarded with a spot on the NBA’s All Rookie Team. Regardless, it certainly seems like the anticipation and excitement Raptors fans felt as they waited for Valanciunas to cross the pond was well worth it.