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Keegan Murray won Western Conference Rookie of the Month for the second month in a row

With all due respect to All-Star news, there was another piece of recognition in Sacramento today
By | 11 Comments | Feb 2, 2023

Dec 21, 2022; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings forward Keegan Murray (13) runs up the court during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Sacramento Kings forward Keegan Murray was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month…again. I know the big news today is All Star selections and snubs, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t take a moment to appreciate Keegan’s accomplishments.

Keegan Murray continued an excellent rookie season by winning Western Conference Rookie of the Month for the second month in a row. As of now I don’t expect Keegan to win Rookie of the Year hardware due to a variety of factors. Paolo Banchero is awesome, Bennedict Mathurin is putting up huge numbers as long as he doesn’t share minutes with any other Indiana Pacers Guards, and Keegan just doesn’t need to be a savior and instead gets to be a solid contributor on a a top team in the Western Conference.

I regularly find myself thankful for what Keegan Murray is doing and what he isn’t being asked to do.

Consider for a moment where Keegan ranks among all NBA players, despite the role the Kings are currently using him in (stats from NBA.com/stats, and I do not know if this includes tonight’s games as I write this, so forgive any slight inaccuracies). He’s 129th in the NBA in points per game at 12.1. That doesn’t sound particularly impressive until you look at who Keegan is ahead of. He’s tied with one-time wunderkind Bones Hyland who now appears to be very likely to be exiled from Denver. He’s ahead of Kyle Lowry, and Khris Middleton, and Jakob Poeltl, all of whom are certainly expected to be key players for their respective teams.

Consider the role Keegan has been asked to play. Despite showing a variety of abilities in college, he’s been primarily asked to space the floor for the Kings on offense. As a three points shooter, Keegan currently ranks 11th in 3PT% among NBA players who have taken more than 200 threes this season. For the role he’s been asked to fill, Keegan has excelled.

Mike Brown has challenged Murray to do more, specifically as a rebounder. In the past month Keegan has three games with double-digit rebounds, compared to just one double-digit rebounding game before January.

Unlike too many rookies before him, Keegan Murray isn’t being asked to be a savior in his first year. He’s being asked to be a core contributor on a playoff team, and Murray is answering the call. I appreciate the recognition, but only because it helps highlight how well Murray is playing even when he’s not in a position to amplify his stats in meaningless games.

It would have been cool if Murray had been able to win Rookie of the Year, but I would much rather him pick up a couple Western Conference Rookie of the Month awards as part of a good team.

Congratulations Keegan, but I firmly believe the best is yet to come.

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Amonk81
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February 2, 2023 10:42 pm

Definitely in on Keegs. Once I saw he has a great feel for the game I figured he’s going to be a really good player.

Next step….Offensive aggression. Take the mid range pull up. He’s dominant there if he wants.

NorCalKingsFan
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February 2, 2023 10:44 pm

Congrats to that amazing young man! Keep up the stellar play rook.

Last edited 1 year ago by NorCalKingsFan
Mike120
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February 2, 2023 10:54 pm

Great news for Keegan. I hate to be a d**k but there isn’t a lot of competition from Western conference rookies. All the top picks went East and Chet is not playing.

BeTheBall
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February 2, 2023 11:01 pm

Love watching him play. Now let’s figure out a way to trade up to #1 in the draft so we can land Kris.

Hobby916
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February 3, 2023 4:29 am

He seems to soak up the coaching from the staff and information from the players. He doesn’t look angry or down when shown what he did wrong and told where to improve.

Great pick at #4 and will continue to grow in the King’s learning environment.

Kingsguru21
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February 3, 2023 7:12 am

Well deserved Keegan.

RobHessing
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February 3, 2023 7:57 am

I don’t know what makes me happier: Murray winning WCROTM again, or that all of the other really good rooks are in the East. Here’s keeping my fingers crossed that Wemby and Scoot wind up in the East, too.

Kingsguru21
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February 3, 2023 8:55 am
Reply to  RobHessing

I know that people will see the 0-fer and assume that Murray had a terrible game…..but it only appears that way on the surface. I thought the aggression that we haven’t seen enough of, the willingness to keep shooting, all the little stuff, makeup if you will, is all there. Tough games happen in this league, 0-fer nights for even great shooters happen (yes, Steph Curry too).

Keegan kept coming trying to shake a bad night off. This kid has a legit shot at being a multi-time All Star IMO.

UpgradedToQuestionable
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February 3, 2023 8:59 am

Congrats to Keegan!

And /hat tip for Coach Brown and his staff, and his fellow roster mates (watch how wonderfully Domas and Harrison Barnes and Heurter and De’Aaron, etc. interact with Murray13) teaching this nice, bright rook how to be a career starter in the NBA, not a stat grabber (mostly because he hasn’t been pushed in that direction). Another nice benefit of the Winning Kings, not the Desperate Kings.

Timmy_13
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February 3, 2023 10:14 am

Keegan Murray.

andy_sims
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February 3, 2023 12:20 pm
Reply to  Timmy_13

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