LAS VEGAS – Oklahoma City Thunder forward Chet Holmgren and Houston Rockets forward Jabri Smith Jr. did not play much offensively on Saturday night, but both showed all-round play that gave them such attractive options at the top of the final. Draft of the month.
In one of the most anticipated games of this year’s competition in the NBA’s Annual Summer League, Smith scored 12 points at just 5-19-5-10 compared to Holmgren’s 3-10-3-10 shoot in Houston. There were points. 90-88 such a victory.
But Smith got nine rebounds, four stalls and three blocks in 30 minutes. He also forced a lap missed by Thunder guard Josh Giddy to keep the score on the buzzer.
Smith said, “I think this is my biggest feature, protection. “Being able to defend more than one position, being able to defend the rim and being able to play makes things difficult for players like me.
“I think I’m the best match for someone who can shoot, who can go to different places, and just, I think I’m just a matchup for a person of that caliber. I’m having a nightmare.”
Smith’s appeal in the draft was his ability to influence the game at both ends. A 6-foot-10 forward, he has a fast, high escape on his jumper and has long arms and sharp legs to destroy defensively.
In the second quarter, he showed both sides of his game in a sequence, when he blocked Holmgren’s shot inside and then buried a 3-pointer at the other end of Houston’s next possession.
And while Smith struggled with his shots, he was more aggressive, taking 19 shots, a significant difference from his first game against Orlando on Thursday night.
“My shot didn’t fall, but I thought I could affect the game in different ways, like trying to play as much defense as I could, trying to get every rebound,” Smith said. I’m trying to block shots.
Meanwhile, after playing twice earlier this week in Salt Lake City, Holmgren was playing his first game in Vegas.
Unlike Smith, he could do nothing aggressively on Saturday night. But, like Smith, he also filled out a statesheet compiling eight rebounds, two assists, two steals and four blocks. This is a sign that the 7-foot-1 forward can impress the game in many ways.
“I’m just trying to learn from every experience,” Holmgren said. “You know, every time we go there, whether it’s good or bad, you know, the worst thing you can do is, you know, have a great game or a great summer league and don’t learn from huh. So I’m trying to learn from what happens. ”
Listed at just 195 pounds, Holmgren’s weight attracts a lot of attention. But his length, time and agility gave him the ability to become a force to be reckoned with as a weak defender.
On several occasions during Saturday’s game, Holmgren flew into the alley to blow up plays or take shots, saying he was always looking for ways to influence the game.
“Just trying to cover the gap, the hole [in the defense]”It’s going to happen anywhere, no matter how good your defense is, no matter how good your defender is, there’s going to be a loss in the game, whether it’s in transition or on half the court. You never know which way the ball is going to bounce.” Just cover the length and cover space and distance, protect the rim, get deflection, whatever. “