Written by Kara Gates
Well, the 2023-24 NBA season is finally upon us. Did you survive the break, hoops fans? Just in case you’re still feeling a bit unsatisfied, we have a full, five-course feast of fantastic rookie outputs to sink your teeth into. Get ready to dig in and try not to drool too much.
For our first course, we have a lovely set of hors d’oeuvres served up by Portland’s Toumani Camara. The second-rounder splashed seven points, going 2-for-2 from beyond the arc, and swatted a shot during his debut vs. the Clippers on Oct. 25. He then delivered an even more impressive performance on the 29th with a dozen points and two blocks against Philadelphia.
Next up is a delicious appetizer created by No. 2 overall pick Brandon Miller. The young Charlotte star swished the net for 13 points, snagged three boards and handed out two assists during the first game of the campaign against Atlanta on Oct. 25. Those numbers were notable on their own, but when you consider the fact that he’s the first Hornets newbie to reach those benchmarks in a season opener since Kemba Walker in 2011, it’s even more exciting.
It’s time for a bit of a palate cleanser before our main course, and what better way to freshen up your appetite than with a nice, healthy serving of Scoot Henderson. The Portland point guard joined a short list of talented Blazers newcomers when he recorded 11 points and four assists against the Clippers on Oct. 25. He was the first Portland rookie in more than a decade to post those totals in a season opener, joining Damian Lillard (2012), Rudy Fernandez (2008) and Hall of Famer Bill Walton (1974).
Our main course is a dish of downright deliciousness delivered by the Thompson twins. Two of the most anticipated rookies of 2023-24, Amen and Ausar have worked hard to live up to their expectations. On the Houston side of things, Amen made sure to keep the glass squeaky clean during his debut against Orlando on Oct. 25, bagging five boards. In a similar fashion, Ausar recorded five blocks in Detroit’s season opener against Miami on the same day. The twin telepathy is real, and we’ll surely get to see more of it as the campaign goes on.
Finally, the course you’ve all been waiting for: dessert, served on a silver platter by Chet Holmgren. The No. 2 overall pick in 2022 made his NBA debut against the Bulls on Oct. 25 and made a bit of Thunder history while he was at it. The forward registered 11 points, four rebounds, three assists and a steal during the 124-104 victory, becoming the first rookie in OKC annals to hit those numbers in the first game of a season. A promising preview of the future, for sure.
So, hoops fans, are you satisfied? Filled to your heart’s content? Or are you still a bit peckish? If that’s the case, stay seated at the table – more feasts are certainly on the way.