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Thunder Rookies Shine in Summer League Debut

The Thunder certainly earned a few more viewers for the upcoming season on Tuesday night.

Oklahoma City started Summer League off with quite the bang Tuesday night.

With Sam Presti and Mark Daigneault in attendance, the young guns came to play. Parts of the game were sloppy, and that’s to be expected, but the talent was evident all over the floor.

The Thunder came away with a dominating 98-77 victory over the Utah Jazz, controlling the game the entire way. All four 2022 NBA Draft selections played heavy minutes and made an impact right away.

Here’s who led the way for Oklahoma City in an exciting sneak peek of the future:

Chet Holmgren

This is the obvious answer. Holmgren has set the basketball world on fire with his performance on Tuesday night. The No. 2 overall pick had a performance for the ages with 23 points, seven rebounds, six blocks and four steals. He finished the game 7-of-9 from the floor and 4-of-6 from 3-point range.

The big man from Gonzaga was virtually unstoppable, displaying elite perimeter shooting and shot blocking abilities. It’s clear Oklahoma City trusts him to create and experiment, as he brought the ball up the court regularly, too. Holmgren excelled in isolation situations, too, as he’s simply faster than other post players.

Not only was Holmgren dominant on the stat sheet, but he was silently dominant too. His drop coverage on ball screens was a key cog in Oklahoma City’s defense all night long. He does so much that doesn’t show up on the stat sheet.

Josh Giddey

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The chemistry on the court was on display all night long. Giddey looked a step ahead of everyone on the floor, truly showing his veteran prowess.

He finished the game with 14 points, 11 assists and five rebounds in just 23 minutes of action. Giddey’s finger prints were all over this game, as he dictated the pace and offense when he was on the court. He was also very active on the defensive end, recording two steals and two blocks.

Holmgren and Giddey were a combined plus-48, marking an exciting start for the new duo in Oklahoma City.

Jalen Williams

If Holmgren didn’t have the performance he had, the Oklahoma City fanbase would be losing its mind about the rookie from Santa Clara.

Williams was nearly flawless, showing off everything that made him a lottery pick. In 25 minutes, he recorded 17 points and five rebounds, shooting 8-of-11 from the floor. He excelled off ball and on ball, fitting in seamlessly anywhere on the court.

His game compliments Giddey and Holmgren’s game so well, making it easy for the trio to feed off of eachother and find success on the court. Williams looks ready to make an immediate impact right away on both ends of the floor.

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