September 30, 2023

What we learned when Jackson-Davis debuted in loss to Rockets

What We Learned When Jackson-Davis Debuted in Loss to Rockets originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

The Warriors defeated the Houston Rockets in the 2022–23 regular season by 19 points, 15 points, and 13 points. The borders clearly weren’t kind to Golden State at Cox Pavilion Thursday night.

For the fourth time in a row, the Warriors were on the wrong side of the scoreboard, and this time behind a 118-101 loss to the Rockets in near-historic fashion. Houston fell just two points short of tying a summer league record for points in a game.

The loss dropped the Warriors to 0-4 in Las Vegas. The Rockets improved to a perfect 4-0

Warrior second-round draft pick Trayce Jackson-Davis showed a glimpse of why the front office and coaching staff hold him in high regard during his summer league debut. But Brandin Podziemski was outplayed and Lester Quinones couldn’t find his shot.

Here are three takeaways from the Warriors’ blowout loss.

TJD’s debut

Within seconds of taking the field in a Warriors uniform for the first time, Jackson-Davis showed off a piece of his play that intrigued the Warriors as they entered the NBA draft. And it wasn’t his scoring, rebounding or defense.

It was his death. Jackson-Davis found a cutting Gui Santos off the post for an easy assist that some younger big men might have missed. However, the 23-year-old had his eyes open and put Santos down perfectly.

Jackson-Davis showed some rust early on, missing his first two open attempts around the rim. That rust didn’t last forever and the left-hander found his footing. He finished 6-of-9 shooting for his 14-point performance. Looking like a solid roller in pick and rolls, Jackson-Davis understands the space in the paint.

As a senior at Indiana, Jackson-Davis was a double-double machine, grabbing seven rebounds on his return to the game.

Crushed from deep

While the Warriors outscored the Rockets by 12, they also turned the ball 22 times and Houston had 15 steals. Perhaps the biggest difference was the 3-point line.

That’s where the Rockets thrived and the Warriors clashed.

While the Warriors shot past the arc an ugly 28.1 percent (9 of 32), the Rockets lit up with a 33-point lead. They made a total of 20 threes, 20 of 49 from long range, a clip of 40.8 percent. The Rockets gave seven people playing time and each emptied a 3-pointer.

On the other hand, Warriors coach Jacob Rubin gave time to 11 players and only four tripled. His backcourt was also ice cold. Quinones was 0 of 9 on threes and Podziemski went 2 of 5 but never caught fire when he shot the ball.

Over the last two games, those two went together to make 4 of 27 shooting 3-pointers.

Design night What if?

Cam Whitmore continued to fall and fall and fall into the June draft, and the Villanova product was still there as the Warriors clocked at No. 19 overall.

They went with Podziemski and the Houston Rockets added Whitmore one pick later at No. 20 overall. On Thursday, Whitmore was a plus-14 at halftime and Podziemski was a minus-14.

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Whitmore scored a game-high 26 points, as well as eight steals and five rebounds. He was a plus-10 and was easily the best player on the field. Podziemski had 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting, as well as six assists, three rebounds and five turnovers. He was a minus 9.

After four summer league games, Whitmore now averages 19.3 points, nearly nine more than Podziemski’s 10.5 points per game. Whitmore turned 19 just five days ago, and he looks to be another shining piece of the Rockets’ exciting future.

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