Josh Giddey’s passing and Chet Holmgren team-up has set the NBA Summer League alight, but not all is perfect for the Aussie star.
Aussie Josh Giddey has once again put in another top effort in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 84-81 win over the Orlando Magic but may have just revealed a chink in his armour.
The talk of the NBA’s Summer League has been team up of Giddey and 216cm No. 2 Draft pick Chet Holmgren as they get their first reps on court together.
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While the Summer League generally lacks the biggest stars, Giddey, who broke record after record in his rookie season, has starred in the pre-season tournament.
Billed as a clash between No. 1 pick Paolo Banchero and Holmgren, the Magic rested the top draftee for the clash.
Giddey’s passing has been exceptional and he tallied 12 points, seven rebounds and eight assists in a solid hit out after missing the back end of last season due to a hip injury.
Holmgren topped the Thunder’s scorers with 16 points, 10 rebounds, while Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Aaron Wiggins also had 12 points.
But while the NBA continues to be blown away by Giddey’s vision and ability passing the ball, former 15-year NBA veteran turned ESPN analyst JJ Redick said there is an area the 19-year-old Aussie needs to work on.
Giddey averaged 12.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 6.4 assists in his debut season, but shot at 41.9 per cent from the field, which dropped to 26.3 per cent from three.
Redick, who shot 41.5 per cent from three in his career, said it was something Giddey still needs to work on.
“There are going to be question marks around (his shooting),” he said. “It’s not to say you can’t appreciate the great things that he does but for him to maximise himself as a player, he’s got to be more consistent as a shooter.”
Giddey had a rough shooting night against the Magic, shooting 3 from 11 from the field including missing both shots from three, and going six from seven from the foul line.
The criticism is coming from a fan as well as Redick said his podcast Old Man and the Three early last NBA season: “He’s like a better Joe Ingles”.
Redick wasn’t alone either as poker player Galen Hall posted: “I’ve been here for like 7 games so far and of the 10 best passes I’ve seen it’s like 7 giddy 3 Paolo. Giddy looks like Simmons shooting though, no confidence, just kind of throwing it in the direction of the rim, shaking his head after every miss”.
But for NBA fans watching, the hopes are high for the young OKC team after what they’ve seen from the Giddey-Holmgren combination.
Late in the fourth quarter when the Magic were coming home strong, Holmgren stood his ground and gave away a foul but also blocked a shot before realising the whistle went off, an act commentator Mark Jones said was “fearless, his confidence is bordering on audacity here”.
Daily Thunder beat writer Brandon Rahbar tweeted: “Josh Giddey is the Michael Jordan of inbounds passing.”
NBA Draft Junkies’ Rafael Barlowe added: “I love flashy and creative high risk passers like Josh Giddey.”
Former Nets assistant Steve Jones Jr. wrote: “Giddey’s passing ability jumps off the page 3x in summer league.
“It’s a weird dynamic because that’s what he does but then teams start switching and then some of the questions pop back up.”
Locked On NBA’s Nick Angstadt posted: “Let me be the 37th person to say that this Chet/Giddy combo is fun.”
After the match, Holmgren was asked about what it’s like to work with some who can facilitate like Giddey.
“It’s great, it makes my life easier,” Holmgren said. “I’ve said it before, I’m going to keep saying it, it opens up the floor for myself and everyone else and opens up the game.”
Giddey also praised his teammate at both ends of the floor, saying he “protects the ring as good as anyone in the league”. S
Originally published as ‘Looks like Simmons’: Big question mark on Josh Giddey