Rule 1 of NBA Summer League games: Don’t overreact to Summer League games.
On the other hand, have fun, Thunder lovers. Chet Holmgren’s noise train is already screaming at warp speed, so why not hop aboard? Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt wears a captain’s hat.
Seeing a Holmgren ball on Tuesday night in Salt Lake City seemed like an instant antidote to OKC’s two-year basketball hangover.
Holmgren, the Thunder’s runner-up in the 2022 draft, was stunning in his summer league debut, which the Thunder won 98-77 over the Jazz.
The 7-foot-1 Novice scored 23 points on a 7-of-9 shot. He was 4-of-6 from 3-point range and 5-of-5 from the foul streak.
Holmgren scored seven rebounds, six balls and four assists. Thunder beat Jazz by 26 points in the 24th minute for Holmgren.
There was an early ban against Illinois first American Kofi Cockburn. There was a hit against the 7-foot-6 giant Taco Fall. There were shots the jazz didn’t attempt out of respect for Holmgren’s underlying length.
There were 3 transition indicators and 3 pick-and-pops indicators. There was a transitional immersion and a faint Dirk Nowitzki cross.
There was a subtle celebration and inaccurate trash talk.
Thunder general manager Sam Prieste and coach Mark Denault, seated next to each other at the Vivint Arena, would have bumped the chest if the ESPN cameras weren’t on them.
It was just a summer league game, but it was a Holmgren summer league game.