On Wednesday night, the Oklahoma City Thunder opened up their season against the Utah Jazz. It was also the NBA debut for quite a few Thunder rookies, including 19-year-old guard Josh Giddey.
A future star, the Australian phenom won NBL Rookie of the Year while posting averages of 10.9 points, 7.5 assists and 7.4 rebounds per game last season.
Before the game, Thunder coach Mark Daigneault was asked about his expectations for Giddey in his NBA debut.
“We're in it for the long haul," said Daigneault. "We don’t get overly excited from one outcome, we just want to help him learn to be consistent.”
Giddey ultimately finished the game with ten rebounds to go along with four points and two assists. He shot 2-for-7 from the floor and didn't attempt a 3-pointer on the night.
He scored his first NBA bucket in the first quarter with a floater over former NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert.
Giddey showed off his passing ability as a 6-foot-9 guard, facilitating in the pick-and-roll and overall making sure the offense ran as smoothly as possible. As a primary ballhandler on this team, Giddey finished with just one turnover in 29 minutes of action.
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What was most impressive in Giddey's NBA debut was his efficiency on the glass. He flashed the potential of being one of the best rebounding guards in the entire league.
His ten boards were the most on the team, as he was the only Thunder player who pulled down double-digit rebounds.
Overall, it was a solid outing from the young franchise cornerstone. While it likely wasn't the huge game he was hoping for, it's still very early in Giddey's career. In hindsight, the outcome of this game will mean nothing as he continues to develop as a player over the course of his career.
The Thunder ultimately lost to the Jazz by a final score of 107-86, with their next game being against the Houston Rockets on Friday.
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