It's been a Kevin Garnett-like month for 21-year-old Karl-Anthony Towns.
With one more game in January – Monday night against Orlando – Towns has a chance to do something Garnett did just three times in Minnesota: finish a month averaging at least 25 points and 13 rebounds.
Towns has been a beast to start 2017, averaging 25.6 points and 13 rebounds. Not coincidentally, it's been the Wolves' best month (7-7).
Garnett had months of 25/13 three times, including two of them when he won MVP in 2003-04.
- Feb., 2003: 27.7 points, 13.9 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.5 blocks, 1.3 assists
- Dec., 2003: 26.4 points, 13.2 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 2.5 blocks, 1.8 steals
- Feb., 2004: 25.6 points, 13.7 rebounds, 5 assists, 2.2 blocks, 1.6 steals
What made KG extra special was his ability to find open teammates and defend. Towns is nowhere near the passer and defender KG was, but he's showing signs of improved defense and passing, as evidenced in his first career triple-double against Denver. Add to that at least 5 assists in 10 of his last 22 games and 2 blocks per game in his last 10.
Towns vs. other centers in January
- Anthony Davis: 24.6 points, 13.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists
- DeMarcus Cousins: 26 points, 11.3 rebounds, 6.1 assists
- Nikola Jokic: 23.9 points, 11.1 rebounds, 4.9 assists
- Joel Embiid: 23.4 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists
The last 10 games (seven wins) have been especially dominating for Towns on the offensive end, averaging 28.8 points on 62 percent shooting. And that jumps to 31.4 points in his last five games.
It took KG eight years to have a scoring and rebounding month like Towns is having in his second season.
In KG's defense, NBA scoring is way up thanks to a dramatic increase in 3-point shooting. ESPN's Zach Lowe has a great explanation of that right here.