The Chronicle

’WIZARD’ OF OZ STEALING THE THUNDER

- MATT LOGUE

AUSTRALIAN rookie Josh Giddey has been described as a “wizard with the basketball” after excelling in his NBA preseason debut for Oklahoma City Thunder.

In his first appearance for the Thunder after being drafted as the No.6 pick, Giddey went to work in an impressive performanc­e that attracted a standing ovation from the OKC faithful. The rising Boomers star finished with a team-high 18 points, seven rebounds and three assists in 29 minutes on the floor despite Oklahoma suffering a 113-97 loss to LaMelo Ball’s Charlotte Hornets.

Giddey may be the NBA’s youngest player at just 18, but he looked composed well beyond his years against the Hornets with his classy passing and ability to attack the rim.

The Melbourne-born guard had the local commentato­rs in raptures about his silky skills.

“He looks like a wizard with the basketball,” the commentary team declared.

“He looks good. He just looks like a veteran player – he has sensationa­l ballhandli­ng skills.”

It was a strong night of pre-season basketball for Australia’s NBA contingent, with fellow Boomer Jock Landale impressing on debut for San Antonio.

Landale finished with eight points, six rebounds and three assists in 15 minutes on the floor as the Spurs defeated Utah 111-85 in their pre-season opener.

The former Melbourne United big man aggressive­ly attacked the rim.

 ?? ?? Aussie rookie Josh Giddey excelled during his NBA pre-season debut for Oklahoma City Thunder.
Aussie rookie Josh Giddey excelled during his NBA pre-season debut for Oklahoma City Thunder.

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