On Friday night Thunder rookies Domantas Sabonis and Alex Abrines participated in the NBA All-Star Weekend BBVA Compass Rising Stars challenge. Both players came off the bench for the World Team, who defeated the U.S. 150-141.
Prior to the game, Enes Kanter gave his rookie teammates some advice: “Just try to get buckets.” Specifically, Kanter told Sabonis, “Don’t pass the ball, just shoot.” Domas took that advice to heart as he put up 8 shots in just 10 minutes of play. Sabonis made 5 of them to tally 10 points.
Abrines, who was selected to fill in for the injured Joel Embiid, played 12 minutes, and he managed to make only 1 of his 5 3-point attempts.
While neither of the Thunder rookies did anything particularly impressive, they represented Oklahoma City well, and perhaps the most exciting part of the evening for the two was when they were surprised by the presence of Thunder teammate Russell Westbrook. Russ watched Sabonis and Abrines from the sideline, where he posted several videos on Snapchat of he and Western Conference teammate Anthony Davis having a good time cheering on the rookies.
In the end, it is plain to see that the future is bright in Oklahoma City as both Sabonis and Abrines have a lot of potential to grow into solid players who will contribute for years to come.
Article written by Zack Low. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter and Instagram.