Cade Cunningham, Jalen Inexperienced Impress in First Conflict as Execs

All eyes within the NBA neighborhood have been tuned in to Las Vegas on Tuesday evening, as the 2 high picks within the 2021 NBA draft — Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham and Houston Rockets guard Jalen Inexperienced, respectively — battled it out of their first skilled recreation in opposition to one another. Unsurprisingly, the 2 placed on a present.

Inexperienced, whereas going a choose beneath Cunningham, prevailed on this match. The G-League Ignite product scored 25 factors in half-hour of motion, flattening three threes, six buckets, and ten free throws.

The Rockets went on to win the matchup 111-91.

Nevertheless, Cunningham, too, was spectacular. The primary general choose scored 20 factors and had 4 rebounds and three steals. He additionally was the facilitator of a sequence of dazzling passes that, if transformed by his teammates, would have probably netted him over 10 assists.

Of their particular person matchups on the court docket, Cunningham additionally obtained the final giggle. In a one-on-one on the highest of the three-point line, Cunningham feigned a drive proper, and silkily dribbled the ball behind his again, stopped, and sunk a 3 – snatching Inexperienced’s ankles within the course of.

Nevertheless, in a post-game interview, Inexperienced revealed he was not all too involved with the hype round his and Cunningham’s rivalry. As a substitute, he’s extra centered on taking part in staff ball.

“I really feel like I dealt with it fairly properly,” Inexperienced mentioned to the Houston Chronicle. “I may have dealt with it so much higher. I used to be making an attempt to get my teammates concerned. I do know I had loads of turnovers. However I used to be nonetheless making an attempt to get everybody concerned and never make it a one-on-one battle between me and Cade. I may have circled and did that for myself, however we find yourself getting the win in order that’s all that issues.”

Cunningham shared an analogous sentiment.

“I do know what the hype and all the pieces was going into the sport, and that’s a given,” he advised The Athletic. “My primary purpose was to go in and get the chemistry proper with our younger core and determine one another out. I used to be simply making an attempt to go in and play my recreation.”

Quickly sufficient, we’ll be capable to see these two duke it out with their official NBA rosters, for years to come back.

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