Rookie Duel: Emmanuel Mudiay & Devin Booker Go Off For Career-Highs
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How sick is this draft class? Karl Anthony-Towns is having the best big man statistical season since Shaq in 92. Porzingis has become a household name after a hot start. D’Angelo Russell is making Lakers fans forget about Jahlil Okafor – who also had an impressive season – after finally being unleashed by Byron Scott. The youngest player in the league, Devin Booker, is red-hot! Myles Turner, Willie Cauley-Stein, Stanley Johnson. Justise Winslow and Bobby Portis have had their moments. And in Denver, Nikola Jokic and Emmanuel Mudiay have quietly been making a lot of FanDuel players a lot of money.
On Thursday night, Denver’s Jokic had 18 points and 10 boards and Mudiay scored a career-high 30 points on 13 of 20 shooting in a win against the Suns and still hot Devin Booker, who finished with a career-high 35 despite going 3 of 11 in the first half.
Mudiay is averaging 21.6 points and 6.4 assists over his last 5 games and his 30 was his 3rd 20+ game in the span which included 4 wins; The 19 year old Booker is averaging 28.4 points over his last 5 games and his 35 was his 3rd 30+ game in that span and 4th of the season. Booker also became the only other teenager in NBA history to record back-to-back 30 point games – LeBron was the other youngster.
“He’s not afraid of the moment and the challenge and the opportunity that’s been given to him,” Denver coach Michael Malone said about Booker “He can play.”
Yes he can and so can Malone’s young future stars and the majority of this year’s 1st round picks.