The OKC Thunder faced off against the Philadelphia Sixers on November 25 in the NBA. As many people’s eyes were on Josh Giddey and the controversy that has taken place, Chet Holmgren stole the show despite being on the losing side.
This season, Holmgren has shown promise, and it looks like he will have a competitive contest for Rookie of the Year with San Antonio Spurs sensation Victor Wembanyama. He has been performing exceptionally well, additionally has won the hearts of the OKC fans too.
In a 130-123 victory over the Golden State Warriors, the 7-foot-1 center had his greatest game of the year. He shot an amazing 14-for-22, including 2-of-5 from beyond the 3-point arc, to rack up 36 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, and two blocks (StatMuse). The game went into overtime when he made a buzzer-beater, but the one against the Sixers will go down as a special one for Chet.
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) November 26, 2023
According to @HoopCentral on X (previously Twitter), Holmgren’s performance versus Philadelphia set a record that even NBA greats Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant were unable to match. “Chet Holmgren is the first rookie in OKC franchise history to record multiple 30+ point games in the first month of their career,” the NBA History account wrote.
This season, Chet Holmgren has averaged 18.1 points per game according to StatMuse. In his first season of 2007–08, Durant averaged 20.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.4 assists in 80 games (StatMuse), earning him the title rookie of the year title back then.
Chet Holmgren praises his teammates for this season’s explosive start
Chet Holmgren praised the Oklahoma City Thunder and his teammates for placing him in positions where he can succeed following their game against Philadelphia on Saturday. He has been thriving with the Thunder this season and has caught the eye of all the NBA greats.
“It starts with those guys. They put me in position to be successful, as well as coach,” he said (via Clutch Points). “A lot of things I can clean up,” Chet said via Brandon Ranbar’s tweet.
Chet Holmgren on his teammates crediting his work ethic for his fast start in the NBA:
“It starts with those guys. They put me in position to be successful, as well as coach.”
Chet says he needs to continue to get better.
“A lot of things I can clean up.”
— Brandon Rahbar (@BrandonRahbar) November 26, 2023
As a tactic, Holmgren could be paired with another center, according to OKC coach Mark Daigneault. When the Thunder played Joel Embiid and the Sixers, Holmgren was matched with Jaylin Williams. “Those guys played pretty well together. Seeing Chet play a non-center spot in the offense was interesting. I don’t think it neutralized him any, so that was encouraging. That’s something we can go to,” Coach Daigneault said.
Holmgren is ranked first over Wembanyama in the NBA’s most recent Rookie of the Year ladder. Over the past four games, Holmgren has shot 63% from the field, 43% from three, and 82% from the free throw line, averaging 25.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks according to StatMuse.
It remains to be seen how Chet performs over the next games for the Thunder this season. NBA greats as well as experts regard him very highly. He has a huge ceiling above him and is destined for greatness in the NBA. Fans know this and have been behind him from day 1.