Chet Holmgren’s Summer season League debut set all of his remarkable skills on total display screen, as the No. 2 total decide dominated on both equally ends of the court in his to start with pro match, earning large praise from none other than Kevin Durant in the method.
On Wednesday afternoon in Salt Lake Town, Holmgren was on the flooring when all over again, but this time he faced a unique problem from the Grizzlies, who trotted out Kenneth Lofton Jr., who they signed to a two-way right after the Louisiana Tech star went undrafted. Lofton and Holmgren played collectively on the U19 Staff United states squad that received the Planet Cup in 2021, and it appeared that Lofton remembered a matter or two about how to bother Holmgren from those techniques.
At 6’7, 280, Lofton was providing up 6 inches to Holmgren, but had a sizable fat edge and he place that to good use, transferring Chet wherever he wanted to in the article with that low middle of gravity, carving out area to complete at the rim despite the extensive arms of Holmgren.
Lofton was not just making use of straight bully ball to do function from Holmgren, as he also confirmed off his great footwork, a brief first stage, and a hot hand from deep on Wednesday night, as the full repertoire was on screen as he went off for 19 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 helps.
For Holmgren doubters, Lofton’s potential to get where he preferred in the publish supplies some confirmation bias on how Holmgren may struggle towards more robust bigs that get into his physique on that finish in the NBA. But whilst Chet wasn’t in a position to get as hot as Tuesday night time, he nevertheless put forth a sound 11-point, 11-rebound, two-block exertion, as he confirmed that, even when men consider to bully ball him, he’ll appear back again and assault them as well.
The preliminary response to Holmgren’s debut was to rightfully be wowed at his immense talents, mainly because when he’s very hot from deep he’s unstoppable offensively. He also can pile up the blocks, and isn’t deterred by guys heading at him physically, as any though he’s gentle is quickly dispelled by watching him. Nonetheless, a big, solid person who is decisive and assertive can get buckets on him, as Lofton confirmed, and there will be evenings like this for Holmgren. The good news is he even now was a good effect on the Thunder when out there, but each individual time this transpires, given all the speak about his body, it’ll create some excitement.
For me, although, this is extra about Lofton displaying that he’s obtained legit NBA abilities. The massive fella surely is not all the way there as an NBA player, but he has a ton of offensive talent and is an intriguing player. I also am holding out hope that as we get a lot more lengthy, expert bigs in the league (like Chet and Victor Wembanyama), just one opportunity counter is the sturdier, qualified put up player who can use a reduced-heart of gravity to offset the size of the opposition. We’ll see if that turns into an true craze, but for just one night in Salt Lake, bully ball created a return to glory.