Sixers big man Joel Embiid has been named December’s Player of the Month for the Eastern Conference, while Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell has earned the honor for the Western Conference, the NBA announced today (via Twitter).
It was a healthy month for Embiid, who appeared in all but one of Philadelphia’s 14 games in December and led the team to an 8-5 record in those contests — the 76ers were blown out by 35 points in the only game he missed. The star center averaged 29.2 PPG, 11.2 RPG, 3.9 APG, 1.5 SPG, and 1.3 BPG on .496/.391/.845 shooting in 34.5 minutes per game for the month.
Mitchell, meanwhile, appeared in 12 of Utah’s 14 December games, putting up 30.2 PPG, 5.0 APG, 3.2 RPG, and 1.2 SPG with a shooting line of .502/.377/.870 in 34.2 minutes per night. The Jazz had a 12-2 month, including 10-2 in games with Mitchell available.
Embiid beat out fellow nominees Giannis Antetokounmpo, DeMar DeRozan, Kevin Durant, Darius Garland, Kyle Lowry, and Fred VanVleet in the East. The other Western nominees were Stephen Curry, LeBron James, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Twitter link).
The NBA also announced the Rookies of the Month for December today, with Magic forward Franz Wagner and Thunder guard Josh Giddey earning the honors in the Eastern Conference and Western Conference, respectively.
Wagner’s Magic went just 3-11 in December, but he solidified his position as a legitimate Rookie of the Year candidate, averaging 19.5 PPG, 5.1 RPG, and 3.1 APG on .476/.404/.889 shooting in 34.0 MPG. Giddey, who won his second straight Rookie of the Month award, missed five games, including the Thunder’s 73-point loss to Memphis. In the 10 games he played, Oklahoma City went 6-4 and he averaged 11.8 PPG, 7.1 RPG, and 6.7 APG.