Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons is the biggest bright spot in a trying 2021-2022 season. Now, the fourth-year breakout player has a Western Conference Player of the Month nomination to his name.
The NBA announced today that Simons was one of seven players to receive a nomination for Player of the Month for January.
Denver Nuggets Center Nikola Jokic took home the award. The 2021 MVP averaged 26.6 points, 13.3 rebounds, and 9.0 assists, while guiding Denver to an 11-5 record during the month.
In the Eastern Conference, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid garnered Player of the Month honors. Embiid averaged 34.0 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 5.1 assists on Philadelphia’s way to a 12-3 record.
Other nominees...— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) February 2, 2022
West: Devin Booker (PHX), Luka Dončić (DAL), Jaren Jackson Jr. and Ja Morant (MEM), Dejounte Murray (SAS), Anfernee Simons (POR) and Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN) https://t.co/CR9feepin5
After losing star Damian Lillard to surgery, Portland plugged Simons into the starting lineup Jan. 3 against the Atlanta Hawks. The 22-year-old seized the opportunity to throw a month-long coming-out party. In a foreshadowing of things to come, Simons exploded for 43 points, seven assists, and nine three-pointers.
In 15 games during the month, Simons averaged 23.1 points and 6.7 assists, while knocking down three-pointers at a 41.4% clip. He scored over 20 points in ten games, including 31-point performances against the Sacramento Kings Jan. 9 and the Washington Wizards Jan. 15.
Simons’ improved play translated to more team success. After an abysmal December which saw Portland go 2-11, the Blazers posted an 8-8 record in January.