The OKC Thunder played their fifth and final preseason game against the Detroit Pistons on Thursday night in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma. While superstar Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was out with a knee contusion, their second overall pick from the 2022 NBA Draft, Chet Holmgren, put on a show for the Tulsa fans.
Chet Holmgren only needed one-half of basketball to show OKC Thunder fans they are in for quite the exciting ride this season. A debut a year in the making, Thunder fans have now seen how special this young core can be.
The OKC Thunder saw Chet Holmgren cap off his preseason with a dazzling block that leaves fans wanting more.
Coming into tonight, Chet Holmgren averaged 18 points, five rebounds, and just over a block per game while shooting 62 percent from the floor, 55 percent from the three-point line, and 73 percent at the charity stripe in just three games.
Holmgren chipped in 10 points, four rebounds, an assist, and a jaw-dropping three blocks tonight. The Gonzaga big man went 1-for-3 from distance and 4-for-9 from the floor.
None of his three blocks were bigger than when he used two hands to deny Jalen Duren at the rim, allowing the ball to perfectly bounce to Josh Giddey and start the OKC Thunder fast break the other way.
Chet Holmgren is intentional with his blocks; while many look for the flashy off-the-class pens or swatting shots into the fifth row, Holmgren uses his timing and strength to swat away shots into the arms of his teammates.
For an OKC Thunder squad that finished third in the NBA in pace and has the potential to be one of the best transition offenses in the league, this is a great skill to have. Holmgren has shown throughout this preseason just how impactful he can be on this season.
After a strong appetizer, OKC Thunder fans will have to wait next Wednesday in Chicago to glimpse Holmgren back on the court as the Thunder begin their regular season slate against Billy Donovan and the Chicago Bulls.