Up until today, Ben McLemore‘s greatest achievement as a member of the Sacramento Kings had been his breathtaking dunks in post-game videos posted to the team’s Instagram page. McLemore has had a season of highlights and rookie mistakes, but he can now add a new title to the mantle.
McLemore was the Western Conference’s Rookie Of The Month for November and it’s well deserved. McLemore has played well heating up in November. He averaged 9.1 points per game in his last five, which is up over his career stats thus far. He also has a career high of 19 points, which he’s hit twice this season. It’s safe to say that McLemore was a solid choice for Sacramento as it underwent a massive front office overhaul.
Many analysts were evenly split when the Kings drafted McLemore, as many teams and general managers balked at Ben’s tumultuous past and character worries. The Kings, however, were game, and it’s worked out ever since. The best player since Peja Stojakovic to wear 16 is McLemore (also known as Sir McLemore according to teammates) and it’s no fluke. The kid not only has hops, but has not been a distraction for a team that could actually use one to guide folks away from its dismal 4-11 record, and the range from beyond the arc has been as advertised.
Of course, every rookie has his faults, and McLemore has shown that at times with errors that only are corrected with experience. Thankfully for McLemore, he is not the only one on this team that could use the help. Sacramento leads the league in turnovers, which has contributed to the losses against some of the Western Conference’s best teams. Also, McLemore’s role with the team has become crucial because he has outplayed backup guards Marcus Thornton and Jimmer Fredette for a hefty share of starters minutes. His production has kept Sacramento close when the game is on the line, but unfortunately, the effort has not translated into more wins for the team, which is most important.
This team will continue to grow as McLemore progresses; Sacramento made a great choice on draft day and it’s paying off. If McLemore is able to lift his team up through his experience and have it rub off on the rest of the squad, this team could turn things around quickly. Either way, Sir McLemore is well on his way to stomping out any lingering doubters.