The Pacers had their best drafted rookie in a long, long, time. Bennedict Mathurin looked every bit the part of an emerging superstar. So how did he fair in ROTY voting?
The results of NBA ROTY voting have come out and the results may be surprising to many Pacers fans. Early in the year, many saw Mathurin as a frontrunner for the award alongside with Banchero. Yet the results seemed to paint a very different picture.
And while it is understandable that Banchero was able to surpass Mathurin in the ROTY voting, and you could even make a bit of an argument for Jalen Williams, Walker Kessler is a bit of a surprise being ahead of Mathurin in the vote.
Some could argue that Mathurin started hot and began cooling off later in the year as teams started to figure out his driving strategy a bit. He also seemed to lack a bit of decision making with the ball throughout the year, often getting tunnel vision whenever he had the ball and wanted to score.
However, these “regular season” awards are often heavily biased by the last couple weeks of the season, where certain players like Jalen Williams begin skyrocketing in how they are playing. The same happens with MVP voting, where it is supposed to be based on the entire “regular season”, yet the last few weeks seem to too-heavily influence the outcome of the race.
In any case, the Pacers should be happy and confident that Mathurin can develop into a star.
Regardless of what the league thinks, Mathurin has shown in his rookie campaign that he has incredible upside, much higher than a player like Walker Kessler. He suffered this season from lower usage rate against some of his peers and the argument could be made that he often did more with less.
As Pacers fans, we know that Mathurin should at least be second in the ROTY conversation, only because of the historic first year of Banchero.