The Oklahoma City Thunder were without their leading scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander when they faced off against the Golden State Warriors in their first in-season NBA tournament game and they had absolutely no problem scoring last night. The problem was Steph Curry who torched the Thunder for a game high 30 points leading the Warriors to a 141-139 win that included the game-winning layup.
The high scoring game showcased how dangerous this Thunder team could be. At different parts of the night, the young Thunder roster took turns taking over the scoring burden: Lu Dort in the third, Josh Giddey in the fourth, and Jalen Williams, rookie Cason Wallace, Isaiah Joe seemed like they couldn’t miss. And they barely did; shooting 60% from the field and 51.7% from three for the game.
The Future is Chet
While Dort, Wallace, and Williams all played really well this game, it was Chet Holmgren that impressed the Warriors. It wasn’t Holmgren’s career high 24 points that caught everyone’s eye, it was how he got those points. Attacking the basket in transition, hitting threes, spin moves, left hand finishes, hitting free throws and mid-range jumpers. Even though Holmgren lacks the size to take on heavier, fatter players on the defensive end, Holmgren certainly doesn’t lack the confidence.
The game truly highlighted the potential of Thunder’s rookie sensation as we watched Holmgren’s offensive skills on display. “Chet is a problem.” said Golden State’s Draymond Green. “He’s got a unique blend of size, agility, and skill that makes him a challenge to defend.”
Draymond elaborated: “He can dribble. He can shoot the ball, has great length, a great shot blocker, and he’s only going to get better.” If you could bet on a player’s future, Chet and fellow slender rookie Victor Wembanyama are two safe wagers. And when it comes to making such bets, leveraging a bonus code can offer a head start; enhancing the excitement of wagering on sports stars who are redefining the game.
For a 21 year old rookie, Holmgren showed remarkable composure, adaptability, and his ability to handle pressure situations. Coach Mark Daigneault acknowledged Holmgren’s performance, stating, “Chet’s ability to stay composed under pressure is remarkable for a player of his age.”
“He’s going to be a problem for a long time.”
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) November 4, 2023
We appreciated some of the more intangible, won’t-find-it-in-the-boxscore contributions including Holmgren’s ability to understand the flow of the game and make strategic decisions based on that. In short, he showed an understanding of the game that belied his experience.
Draymond agreed: “For a young guy like that, to have the feel that he has, you don’t see many mistakes out of him and I thought that was big. He’s not making the typical mistakes a rookie would make.”
“The sky is the limit for Chet.” That’s coming from a former NBA Defensive Player of the Year and many consider one of the league’s most-intelligent players.
In a league driven by talent, Chet Holmgren’s display against the Warriors marked a significant moment in his budding career. As the Thunder regroup and prepare for upcoming challenges, Holmgren’s emergence as a key player becomes a beacon of hope, reminding fans of the team’s potential. With each game, Holmgren’s impact grows, painting an intriguing narrative for the Oklahoma City Thunder and their dedicated supporters.