You can follow along with the stats I’m using on Basketball Reference here.
Before Zion started playing I thought anyone saying Ja shouldn’t be ROY is either not watching the games or just dumb. Morant has been amazing this year and has earned ROY. Now since seeing Zion actually play and just constantly dominate his competition I’m not sure.
Zion has a better shooting % on more shots a night, he averages 6 points more a game and has a PER of 25.4. For reference league average is 15 and Giannis has the highest PER at 32.02. If you’ve seen a highlight reel of Zion you’ve basically seen him play a full game because that dude is a walking highlight. Zion hasn’t scored less than double digits yet this year and only has 3 games with a negative +/-, those 3 games were all against playoff teams (LAL, OKC, MIL). He has been everything we were promised and more. He’s only played in 13 games though. This award is for the rookie who was best for the ENTIRE year, if Zion plays every game the rest of the season he will only have 37 games under his belt.
Morant averages the second most points of any rookie (only behind Zion), he averages the most assists per game and is top 5 in steals. Zion is the best Rookie in the NBA and is most likely a future MVP but he hasn’t played anywhere near enough games. I think there should be a required amount of games to win an award whether the NBA makes it public or not, personally I would say 60 games minimum to make any All NBA teams or win any awards. Can’t be giving a guy who won’t even end up playing half the season one of the bigger personal awards the sport has. ROY is probably the 2nd biggest regular season award we can’t be giving it to just anyone.
This was one of my selfish reasons for wanting Zion to just skip this whole year. Ja should win it this year, Zion takes it next year like Blake Griffin and Ben Simmons did. I’m not sure if there is a cutoff for how many games you can play before you can’t repeat your rookie year but I could see the NBA, if they do the right thing and give Ja the award this year, letting Zion be a “rookie” again next year just to get him a trophy.
If Zion can will the Pelicans to a playoff berth this year and Memphis end up missing it maybe all of this will go out the window.
Also this hype video is nuts, too.