Phoenix Suns rookie power forward Marquese Chriss has been improving every month this season, just like he did a year ago in his only season at University of Washington.
Since the All-Star break, just when many rookies begin to hit the rookie wall, Chriss instead shows continued improvement.
In fact, Quese has the second-biggest improvement in Effective Field Goal % since the Break, among all 450+ NBA players. He’s also second among all rookie peers in 3FG% and True Shooting %, of those who have played at least 12 games since the Break.
Biggest increase in eFG% since the All-Star break. pic.twitter.com/Ctpb480b1W— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) March 22, 2017
Effective Field Goal percentage gives extra credit for three-pointers, which Chriss has been making at a 44% clip since the break (14 games).
Note: You’ll also notice T.J. Warren among the most-improved group despite getting even worse on his threes, thanks to his huge improvement closer in to the basket.
Though he’s not setting the world on fire quite yet, Chriss has improved noticeably each month of his rookie season.
He even has a positive Net Rating (ORtg - DRtg) in March for a team that’s been scuttled of all its best players and now relies on Chriss more than ever. He’s staying within himself and within the offense, evidenced by his leap in field goal shooting and effectiveness.
His 1.7 blocks per game are tops among all rookies since the Break, while he’s 4th in points per game (12.9) and rebounds per game (5.4), second in 3P% among those who take 3+ per game (44.4%), and 10th in steals (0.9).
And if you’re into that kind of thing, Chriss leads all rookies - and is 18th in the whole NBA - with 78 dunks this season. He’s also 6th among all rookies - and 2nd among big men behind Dario Saric - with 183 three-point attempts this season.
He is doing all this at still just 19 years old, the 4th youngest player in the league, while going against the starting units of other NBA teams all season and not just their backups.
Chriss might not win Rookie of the Year this season, but he’s the first Suns player since Amare to win Rookie of the Month (January) and appears to be a shoe-in for first-team All-Rookie.
Watch Chriss’ 24 points and 7 rebounds against Miami on Tuesday night.
Assuming continued improvement, Quese looks like another one of those core players for a brighter Phoenix Suns future.