The Rise of Chet Holmgren: A Rookie Sensation Dominating the NBA

2024-02-24 10:09:57

Before the Star Game, on February 11, 2024, Chet Holmgren and Victor Wembanyama met again. This is not the first time that the two sides have met, starting from the 2021 U19 championship game, warm-up match and November 2023 regular season. The two sides met for the first time in the U19 World Cup. Wembanyama’s performance completely suppressed Holmgren, but the United States defeated France. Both sides performed very well in the preseason, but neither performed well in the first meeting in the regular season.

Before the Star Game, on February 11, 2024, Chet Holmgren and Victor Wembanyama met again. This is not the first time that the two sides have met, starting from the 2021 U19 championship game, warm-up match and November 2023 regular season. The two sides met for the first time in the U19 World Cup. Wembanyama’s performance completely suppressed Holmgren, but the United States defeated France. Both sides performed very well in the preseason, but neither performed well in the first meeting in the regular season.

This February matchup was different. The Thunder were far more powerful than the Spurs and the score was open early. However, most fans focused on the rematch between the two unicorns. Both sides performed outstandingly this time, especially in the first half of the fourth quarter. For 6 minutes, the two faced off as if they had a personal grudge. Wembanyama scored 24 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 blocks. Holmgren had 17 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks. When there were 6 minutes left in the fourth quarter When both were replaced, the Thunder led by 28 points. From an individual level, the two performed outstandingly and are the favorites to win the Rookie of the Year award, but Holmgren has one obvious difference, he can win games.

Wembanyama’s playing time was limited, but he got a lot of shot opportunities in the time and was difficult to block. Holmgren averages about 30 minutes per game, but he is more efficient, leading the Thunder to second place in the Western Conference. The two are in different situations. Wembanyama is looking like a shocking show now, but Holmgren is more stable and brings A rare thing for a rookie: winning or losing impact.

Holmgren averaged 16.7 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 0.7 steals and 2.7 blocks per game this season, and shot 53.5% from the field and 39.6% from three-point range (on 4.3 attempts per game).

At the same time in the 2022-23 season, the Thunder’s record was 25 wins and 28 losses. It was 18 wins and 35 losses the previous year. This season, the Thunder’s record has reached 38 wins and 17 losses. Of course, Holmgren is not the only reason. The improvement of main players such as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jalen Williams is also an important key.

Although the Thunder ended the 2022-23 season in the second game of the playoffs, Gilgeous-Alexander was selected for the first team of the year, and Williams also became a candidate for the Rookie of the Year. Holmgren is back healthy this season, and the Thunder’s offensive and defensive system is more optimized and comprehensive. Each player has multiple abilities. Everyone serves as an offensive starting point and can also rotate at will on defense. That’s why Holmgren fits in so seamlessly, he’s extremely versatile.

The Thunder will keep cutting on the court, ranking first in the league with 63.3 cuts per game, 37 cutting points, and 26.6 cuts and passes per game. Their field goal percentage of 53.6% ranks fourth. They use constant cuts to stretch the defense from all angles. . Head coach Mark Daigneault’s goal is to make the five players on the field all offensive and defensive threats, constantly pressing every turn.

The most important thing in this style of play is the center. Holmgren’s versatility unlocks this possibility. The Thunder can use his advantages in all positions. From the outside to the penalty area, he has the threat of holding the ball, plus he has top-notch A golfer who knows where to do what.

In the summer league, although Holmgren was active, he still showed flaws. He often dribbled too high and was intercepted. Now, as long as the opponent enters his dribbling range, he can lower his center of gravity and pass by more decisively. Although Holmgren is thin in stature, he is very flexible and can use turns, steps and mismatches to create points.

Defensively, Holmgren is the Thunder’s goalkeeper. He ranks fourth in the league with 2.6 blocks per game. His height of 7 feet 1 inch and 7 feet 6 inches are not his only weapons in wind resistance, but he can hit the hot pot with both hands. Excellent prediction ability, once set a record of 9 blocks in a single game

Holmgren’s defensive threat comes from his combination of agility, athleticism and hard work. He will try to block any shot. Furthermore, he is not afraid of being dunked on his head. Only Brook Lopez has blocked in the penalty area this season. More times than he did. “Anyone or ball flying in the sky, I will confront and block the opponent.” Holmgren said.

It is worth noting that Holmgren will try to keep the ball on the court after blocking, allowing teammates to get defensive rebounds to promote fast breaks. In addition, he will not over-contact, and his straight up and down jumps allow him to average only 2.6 fouls per game. Holmgren’s accumulated blocks have surpassed Serge Ibaka’s rookie record and is heading towards Tim Duncan’s goal of more than 200 in a single season set by Tim Duncan in 1998.

In the 2022-23 season, the Thunder will use centers such as Mike Muscala, Jaylin Williams, Kenrich Williams, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Aleksej Pokusevski to rotate, but the DIFF% within 6 feet ranks 18th, and the opponent’s field goal percentage within 5 feet ranks 9th. This season, after Holmgren was promoted as a fixed center, he ranked 3rd and 1st respectively, and almost solved the Thunder’s defensive weaknesses, except for defensive rebounds, but this is a relatively difficult dilemma to solve at present. They are 7 feet 1 and 6 feet 5 respectively, and both weigh only 195 pounds. They will definitely lose rebounds.

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