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Tate hit 9-of-12 shots (75.0%), played a game-high 40 minutes and dished out 4 assists as a secondary playmaker in the absence of veteran point guards John Wall (hamstring) and DJ Augustin (ankle).
Tate is averaging 11.3 points (52.0% FG) and 5.3 assists in 29.2 minutes per game as a rookie, and he has proven Houston’s best and most versatile defensive player as well as a reliable ball-handler. Many advanced metrics show Tate as the NBA’s most impactful rookie.
When asked about some recent Rookie of the Year buzz after Tuesday’s game versus Edwards and the Timberwolves, Tate told reporters:
It’s humbling. It’s great that people are starting to see the work I put in. But I’m just trying to stay here as long as I can. The awards and all the recognition will come with hard work, and just continuing to go out there and giving 110 percent. I think I’ve been doing it. Just trying to be consistent, and don’t cheat the game.
It’s been a crazy year. We’ve dealt with a lot of things, but this is one of the closest teams that I’ve been on. I’m excited to see what we can build, not only for the rest of this year, but in this offseason.
Tate and the Rockets return to action on Thursday at Toyota Center versus Milwaukee, with tipoff scheduled for 7 p.m. Central. Tate is the only player on Houston’s roster to have played in every game of the 2020-21 season, and he’s clearly aiming to finish the year as the iron man.