scores, results, Josh Giddey and Chet Holmgren, Oklahoma City Thunder, Aussies playing
They’re the latest NBA duo to take the Summer League by storm and once again Josh Giddey and Chet Holmgren put on a show as the Oklahoma City Thunder outlasted the Orlando Magic 84-81 on Tuesday afternoon.
Tuesday’s game was to be headlined by the much-anticipated reunion of this year’s top two draft picks – Holmgren and Paolo Banchero.
Banchero is out for the rest of the summer league, however, having averaged 20 points, five rebounds and six assists in his two games in Las Vegas.
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Giddey was also tipped to sit out Tuesday’s game, but further proof of the Aussie’s relentless desire to improve, he adapted again, drawing praise from former NBA player JJ Redick .
“Give Josh Giddey a lot of credit for being on an All-Rookie team and then coming here and playing in the Summer League,” Redick said in a comment for ESPN.
“Not all guys do this, not all guys do this, so give him lots of credit.”
Oklahoma City got off to a fast start, taking an 8-0 lead as Giddey immediately turned heads with back-to-back dimes, including a no-look assist to Holmgren for the dunk.
“He sees things a split second before everyone else on the court right now,” Redick said in a comment.
“I would love to be Josh Giddey’s teammate.”
The Thunder only continued to score points, taking a 27-9 lead in the first quarter as the Giddey and Holmgren connection continued to grow.
“(He) makes my life easier,” Holmgren said of Giddey after the match, with the Aussie returning the favor, saying: “He protects the ring as well as anyone in the league.”
Holmgren had his best offensive game for OKC, finishing with 16 points on 7-for-10 shooting to go with 10 rebounds and two blocks.
Giddey, meanwhile, had 12 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, although he and Holmgren were a little loose at times, combining to turn the ball over nine times.
Shooting also remains a concern for Giddey (3 of 11 from the floor), although he continues to be aggressive driving to the basket.
“This [shooting] is an area of his game that he needs to develop,” Redick said.
“Players like him, there’s a joy they get from seeing their teammates score and so he may never be a primary goalscorer, but he could be a shot-maker or a primary playmaker.
“But for me, I think that’s an area of his game where he can really improve as a shooter, it takes everything to another level.”
While Giddey naturally grabs the headlines, there are a few other Aussies making their mark at the Summer League.
In case you missed it, Jack White capitalized on his opportunity with 15 rebounds for the Denver Nuggets in an 84-76 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“You have to give credit to Jack White,” Nuggets Summer League head coach Ryan Bowen said per Sports News.
“15 rebounds, it was incredible, he was everywhere. It’s just energizing when you get a putback or you get a foul, you get a three kick. I kept asking him, ‘Are you okay? Can you continue?’… ‘Yeah, man, I’m fine. I’m fine.’
“He was impressive there, we wanted to give him a good look to play in a few more minutes and he responded.”
White averaged 9.3 points and 7.1 rebounds per game while shooting 53% from the field during his time with Melbourne United in the NBL last season.
There’s the possibility of a two-way deal for White if he continues to impress.
Somewhere else, Luc Travers also continues to shine after being impressive for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Travers was drafted with the 56th overall pick by Cleveland and while the Aussie mullet has been the talk of the league, it’s his work on the pitch that has the real impact.
Travers had six points, five rebounds, three assists and five blocks in just 24 minutes in his first outing in a 99-90 win over the San Antonio Spurs.
He then backed that up with three points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals against the Nuggets, once again proving he’s a valuable two-way player.
Coach Mike Gerrity said Travers, who averaged 7.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists in the NBL last season, definitely caught him off guard.
“It really surprised me,” said Gerrity, per Cleveland.com.
“I saw him throughout camp, bouldering him and going up and doing dunks, so I knew he was athletic and capable of that. But he blew me away. There was this streak in the third quarter where I think he had three blocks in a row. It really changed the flow of the game. It was impressive.”
Travers is expected to be tucked away overseas to further develop his game once the proper NBA season kicks off.
Of course, all eyes were going to be on Dyson Danielsthe Aussie who was selected with the No. 8 pick by the New Orleans Pelicans in this year’s draft.
He sprained his right ankle in his weekend opener and will no longer play in the Summer League.