The Boston Celtics' 19-year-old rookie Jayson Tatum has been phenomenal this year for his 31-10 club and has received some recognition for his play in the form of a Rookie of the Month award. Tatum, along with Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, both took home the award for the month of December:

This happens much less frequently than you would think for such a historic franchise. Believe it or not, Tatum is just the fifth Celtics rookie to ever be awarded the honor:

Tatum led all Eastern Conference rookies in scoring through December. He finished the month with 248 points, trailing just Donovan Mitchell and Kyle Kuzma for the most overall scoring. However, of the leading rookie scorers, none come close to Tatum's 52.9% field goal percentage (excluding a few big men who only take shots in the paint).

NBA.com's Taylor Snow outlined the memorable month that the rookie had:

Tatum played in 17 games over the course of the month and averaged 14.6 points and 5.9 rebounds per game while playing 32.0 minutes per contest. He shot 52.9 percent from the field, 45.1 percent from 3-point range and 81.9 percent from the free-throw line during that span.

Tatum led all Eastern Conference rookies with a total of 248 points over the course of the month, while also corralling the second-most rebounds (101).

Most rookies thrive on bad teams. When there isn't much talent, they have a larger workload, more playing time, and more opportunities as a whole. Somehow, Tatum has come right onto a title-contending team and has not only put up great numbers but is playing winning basketball. When Tatum was on the court in December, his team had a +8.9 net rating. Without him, their net-rating dropped to -9.6. Clearly, the rook isn't just stuffing the stat sheet, but has been one of the most valuable rookies in the association.

Well deserved Rookie of the Month award, Jayson!

Follow Erik Johnson on Twitter: @erikjohnson32

Photo via USA TODAY Sports

Erik Johnson 1/04/2018 04:09:00 PM Edit
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