News broke during tonight’s Cavs-Clippers game that Cleveland rookie Dion Waiters was awarded the February nod for the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month. Here is the official release from the team:
“CLEVELAND – Cleveland Cavaliers guard Dion Waiters was named today as the Kia NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in the month of February.
Waiters played in 12 games during February and averaged 15.8 points on .514 shooting, 2.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.1 steals in 28.2 minutes per game. During the month, he ranked first in scoring and assists, second in steals and field goal percentage and third in minutes among Eastern Conference rookies (minimum 10 games played). Waiters scored 20 or more points in four of 12 games (tied for the most 20-point games by an East rookie in the month) and shot at least .500 from the field seven times in games played in February, including six games with at least .600 shooting from the field.
Waiters helped lead the Cavs to a 7-5 record in February. He finished the month strong, scoring over 20 points in each of his last three games as the Cavs went 4-1 to end February.
His highest scoring performance in February came on Feb. 24 at Miami when he tallied a team-best 26 points on 11-17 (.647) shooting and three assists in 31 minutes of work. In a 101-98 victory at Chicago Feb. 26, Waiters scored 25 points on 10-16 (.625) shooting from the field in 36 minutes, becoming the only rookie this season to score 25 or more points in consecutive games. He had 23 points, six assists, one steal and one block in 35 minutes of work in the Cavs’ most recent win on Feb. 27 versus Toronto.
Other nominees for Kia NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month were Washington’s Bradley Beal and Orlando’s Maurice Harkless.”
Waiters’ improvement has been one of the keys for the suddenly streaking Cavaliers, who entered Friday night’s game with a 15-15 record since Dec. 22. Previous winners of the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month are: November — Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte; December — Bradley Beal, Washington; January — Bradley Beal, Washington.
[Related: NBA Rookie Rankings: Waiters and Beal move up, Davis finally slides]