BOSTON (CBS) — Jayson Tatum has been one of the more exciting rookies to watch in the NBA this season.
On Thursday, the Celtics’ youngster was rewarded for a big month of December.
The 19-year-old forward was named the Eastern Conference’s Rookie of the Month after averaging 14.6 points off 53 percent shooting (hitting a robust 45 percent of his attempts from three-point land). He had 14 games with 10+ points in the month to lead all NBA rookies.
Tatum is the first Celtics player to win the award since Marcus Smart earned the honors in February of 2015, and fifth in franchise history.
It’s been a fantastic start to the No. 3 overall pick’s career, as Tatum has started all 41 games for the Celtics this season. Gordon Hayward’s unfortunate injury on opening night put more responsibility on the rookie’s plate and he’s been more than up to the challenge presented, averaging 14.1 points to go with 5.5 rebounds. He’s hit 51 percent of his shots from the floor, and his 47 percent shooting from downtown ranks third overall in the NBA.
Thursday’s honor is likely the first of many for the promising Boston rookie.