Bennedict Mathurin: “You don't see other players doing this”
While the NBA playoffs are in full swing, Bennedict Mathurin is already on vacation, but he's still making headlines because of his excellent first season.
The native of Montreal North had caused a lot of ink to flow, at the dawn of his professional debut, by launching that he believed that no player was better than him in the Silver circuit. Although he has a crust to eat before he can compare himself to Nikola Jokic, LeBron James or Giannis Antetokounmpo, Mathurin has proven that he has his place among the league's elite.
Thanks to Averaging 16.7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game, the 20-year-old could become the first Pacers member since Rik Smits in 1989 to make the first-team rookie stars of the NBA [All-Rookie].
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Despite starting 61 of his 78 games on the bench, Mathurin set organizational records for a freshman in free throws made (376) and three-pointers (100). His 1,302 points give him third place in Pacers history among rookies.
Beyond his statistics, the Quebecer especially impresses his teammates with his thirst for learning and his insatiable desire to s 'improve.
“I've never seen another guy hang out with his head coach [Rick Carlisle] on the plane watching video footage,” point guard Tyrese Haliburton said, according to the Pacers' website. It doesn't matter if he had a good or bad night, he does that after every game.”
“It's proof that he's hungry and doesn't want to slow down. You don't see other NBA players doing that.”
An ankle injury slowed Mathurin's pace mid-season, which explains why he was passed by Paolo Banchero, Jalen Williams and Walker Kessler on the ballot for Rookie of the Year. He still received some votes for another prestigious award: that of the best sixth player in the NBA.
“I didn't accomplish everything I wanted to do, but it's a very good thing, Mathurin had launched during the end-of-season review, two weeks ago. I'm going to work twice as hard this summer to become a better player.”