Chris Duarte and Evan Mobley headline rookies with promising debuts

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Chris Duarte sets the Pacers’ record with 27 points in his debut.

Wednesday marked the start of the 2021-22 NBA season for most of the league after Tuesday’s double kickoff. It’s also the first taste of professional basketball for many of this year’s Rookie Class.

Here are some of the best freshman performances from Wednesday’s action:

Chris Duarte – Indiana Pacers

The 13th pick overall has recently been a productive place for teams looking for talented goaltenders. Duarte could be the latest achievement for a slot machine that has also produced Donovan Mitchell (2017), Devin Booker (2015), Zach LaVine (2014) and Tyler Herro (2019).

Duarte’s NBA debut was better than any, an announcement of 27 points in the Pacers’ one-point loss to Charlotte. The former Oregon star shot 9 for 15, including 6 for 9 on 3 points.

Evan Mobley – Cleveland Cavaliers

The highly announced third overall pick in this year’s draft, Mobley showed his enticing versatility early and often in a game Cleveland came close to winning in Memphis.

The 7-foot Mobley amassed 17 points, nine rebounds, six assists, one steal and one block in 38 minutes, a solid sign from opening night that Cleveland intends to let their prized prospect get plenty of reps. in his rookie season.

Cavs’ Mobley opens career with soft sweater

Scottie Barnes – Toronto Raptors

This year’s fourth overall pick was full of promise during the preseason, and he did the same in Toronto’s 98-83 loss to Washington. Barnes had 12 points, nine rebounds in his debut, but will have to reduce turnovers (six) while getting more into the NBA game.

Franz Wagner – Orlando Magic

The second of Orlando’s top two picks this year, Wagner showed a willingness ready to attack the paint. The German-born prospect scored 12 points to go with four rebounds, two assists, two blocks and one steal and was just a minus-four in 32 minutes – in a game the Magic lost by 26 points .

Alperen Sengun – Houston Rockets

A favorite of many draft experts, Sengun showed why in his 18-minute debut on Wednesday. The 19-year-old Turk scored his 11 points in the restricted area or on the free throw line while adding six rebounds, two assists and three steals.


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