Jabari Smith Jr. makes good impression in Rockets’ win

Jabari Smith Jr. had a strong second game in the Las Vegas Summer League as he put up a good performance in the Rockets victory (97-84) over the Spurs. While Tari Eason shined with a double-double (22 points, 11 rebounds), Smith showed his qualities.

He finished with 19 points, nine rebounds and two steals in 28 minutes of action. Smith shot 6-fo-12 from the field and 3-of-5 from beyond the arc. The Rockets received encouraging messages from their young core Monday night.

Daishen Nix posted 18 points and six assists, and Josh Christopher also had 18 points while adding four steals, three rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Smith was more comfortable in his role during his third game in the Las Vegas Summer League.

He showed flashes of his ability to use his length in his advantage and create more opportunities in the open court. His shot creation was not evident, but he was patient with his offense and attacked aggressively in the offensive rebound department.

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The Auburn product was projected to come off first from the board in the 2022 NBA draft, but eventually dropped third behind Paolo Banchero and Chet Holmgren. Smith will try to prove the other teams made a mistake not picking him in the upcoming season.

But for now, he’s setting the foundation for a young Rockets’ squad, who is hoping to have found a franchise player in the dynamic forward.

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