Having started the season with a 2-0 record, the Oklahoma City Thunder faced a significant challenge on Sunday when they went up against the reigning champions, the Denver Nuggets.
The outcome revealed that the Thunder still have some room for improvement. During the game, the Thunder’s big man, Chet Holmgren, had his first encounter with the Denver Nuggets’ star, Nikola Jokic.
Jokic clearly outperformed in this matchup, contributing 28 points, 14 rebounds, and five assists, leading his team to a convincing 128-95 victory.
Nevertheless, Holmgren displayed a commendable performance, securing 19 points and four rebounds.
After the game, Jokic offered some advice to the budding Thunder star, acknowledging Holmgren’s talent but emphasizing that he’s still in the early stages of his career, learning the intricacies of the game and where he can gain an advantage, reports Barnett Durando of The Denver Post
“He’s a really talented guy, but this is his first year. He’s still learning everyting; the game, how quick it is, where is (he at) an advantage, where is (he at ) a disadvantage,” Jokic said. “I think he needs experience. I think he needs to be a little bit fatter, to be honest. But yes, he has a talent that is unique.”
The rivalry between the Nuggets and the Thunder, particularly the battle between Jokic and Holmgren, is sure to be a captivating one to follow in the future.
Jokic is widely regarded as one of the league’s best players, while Holmgren is just starting his professional journey.
Holmgren has already demonstrated why the Thunder have high expectations for him. In the first two games of the season, he has been averaging 13.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.0 steal, and an impressive 3.5 blocked shots.
His shooting percentages are equally impressive, with a 56.3 percent field goal rate, a remarkable 71.4 percent from beyond the arc, and 57.1 percent from the free-throw line.
Monday’s game at the Paycom Center will see the OKC Thunder hosting the Detroit Pistons as they eagerly anticipate a return to their winning ways.