Why Bennedict Mathurin Will Win Rookie of the Year

Benedict Mathurin, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Soobum Im/Getty Images)
Benedict Mathurin, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Soobum Im/Getty Images) /
2 of 4
Indiana Pacers
Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /

The case for Banchero

Through 22 games play this season, Paulo Banchero’s per-game stats are impressive. In just south of 35 minutes per game, he’s scoring 21.7 points, grabbing 6.9 rebounds, and dishing 3.9 assists. That per-game points total ranks first among rookies in the league and is a big reason why he currently has the best odds for ROY. Banchero does have more opportunities to go get those points. He has 6 more minutes per game to score the 4 points more than Mathurin currently is, but more importantly, Banchero leads his team, the Magic, in usage% (usg%)- An estimate of the percentage of team plays used by a player while they were on the floor. His role as the offensive lead dog on a Magic team that’s currently 9-20, the third-worst record in the East.

Banchero’s not only using his abundance of opportunities to put up gaudy scoring numbers, but he also does excellent work for his team. He pulls down the third most rebounds on his team and throws the fourth most assists. Compared to all other rookies, he’s third in rebounds per game and assists per gameThat’s not a typo. Banchero is a 6′-10″ power forward who’s running the show in Orlando and delivering stats that are better than most rookies in multiple categories.

Compared directly to Mathurin, Banchero is averaging more blocks, steals, free throw attempts, and made field goals. He’s also shooting a slightly better percentage from the field. Banchero’s 1.3 win shares are second in the league, behind only Walker Kessler’s 2.0. All-in-all, Banchero’s case for winning ROY is very strong.

Is it as strong as Bennedict Mathurin’s?