Dario Saric Becomes Latest Sixers Rookie to Hit 1,000-Point Plateau
With his 10 points against the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night, forward Dario Saric became the latest Philadelphia 76ers rookie – and the first since Michael Carter-Williams – to hit the 1,000-point plateau.
Saric, a lottery pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, becomes the 13th player in franchise history – and the 11th since the team officially became the 76ers – to score 1,000 points or more as a rookie.
With 1,787 points compiled during the 1996-1997 season, Allen Iverson is the franchise’s all-time leading rookie scorer.
Here’s a look at the others, via StatMuse:
— Michael K-B (@therealmikekb) April 3, 2017
At the season’s start it took Saric some time to get accustomed to his new life in America, and the NBA style of play – which was to be expected – but as that comfort level continued to grow, so did his game.
“In the beginning it was a little bit hard for me, new country, new teammates, different kind of basketball, different style of life than I had before,” Saric said, via Philly.com. “I came here and made an adjustment, and it took me two months to get into some type of rhythm to get used to this kind of life.”
Most impressive about Saric’s rookie campaign has been the consistent improvement that he has shown over the course of the season. While many rookies unaccustomed to the NBA grind fall off as the schedule wears on, Saric has done the opposite. His scoring has gone up each month of the season through March, and he has looked increasingly comfortable with each passing game.
Saric has greatly picked up his production since the All-Star break and the team’s trading of Ersan Ilyasova. With an expanded role, Saric’s points per game have jumped from 10.8 before the break to 18.1 since. He was named the NBA’s Rookie of the Month for both February and March, picking up the mantle after Joel Embiid won the award in November, December, and January.
“He’s worked on his game a lot, and everything he’s done this year he deserves,” teammate T.J. McConnell said of Saric. “He’s worked extremely hard.”
For his rookie campaign, Saric is averaging 12.9 points. 6.3 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in 26.4 minutes per game.
Though notching 1,000 points as a rookie isn’t an exact indicator of future success with the franchise (sorry, MC-W), it is a solid sign nonetheless. Saric has a bright future in Philadelphia.