The games don’t count yet. But basketball fans are hungry.
Bol Bol satisfied on Wednesday, putting on a show in his NBA bubble debut with the Denver Nuggets.
The 7-foot-2 rookie and son of NBA icon Manute Bol dropped 16 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks in an 89-82 win over the Washington Wizards. He hit 3-pointers, ran the floor and showed athleticism and handles his late father couldn’t have dreamed of during his 10-year NBA run as a 7-7 shot-blocking specialist.
Bol Bol does it all
Bol hasn’t play a single regular-season NBA minute yet, but got plenty of run on Wednesday starting in an unorthodox Nuggets lineup that included All-NBA center Nikola Jokic at point guard.
starting at point guard for your Denver Nuggets pic.twitter.com/uqL5BWqjrX
— Wobol Wobol (@WorldWideWob) July 22, 2020
Bol turned heads early, blocking a shot, grabbing the rebound and running a one-man fast break that ended with a pull-up 3-pointer from the wing midway through the first quarter.
Bol Bol will be an all star. Calling it. pic.twitter.com/aPeQXfmcOB
— Caleb Caldwell (@bcoakiot) July 22, 2020
It wasn’t his only 3-pointer of the afternoon. Bol took a pass in a half-court set in the third quarter and calmly sunk an in-rhythm 3-pointer from the corner.
He also flashed a Euro step in transition. He missed the ensuing layup in traffic. But no matter. He’s 7-2. He rebounded his own miss and slammed it home.
— NBA (@NBA) July 22, 2020
Can he pass? Yeah, he can pass.
— Joel Rush (@JoelRushNBA) July 22, 2020
Maybe head coach Michael Malone will give Bol a run at Jokic’s point guard spot in the next scrimmage.
Bol’s reward for Wednesday’s breakout performance? A drug test. Sure, it was random. But still.
Did Nuggets get a second-round steal?
The Nuggets drafted Bol with the 44th pick in last year’s draft. He showed flashes in a brief stint with Oregon that had some projecting him as a lottery pick. A foot injury ended his run with the Ducks after nine games of averaging 21 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocks. It also led to his slide down draft boards that allowed the Nuggets to make a no-brainer gamble midway through the second round.
Sure, Wednesday’s performance arrived via an NBA bubble scrimmage. But you can’t fake the athleticism and skill he showed against real, live NBA players.
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