Zags in the NBA first game recaps: Andrew Nembhard shines, Chet Holmgren begins ROY campaign

The first two days of the 2023-24 NBA season are in the books, and nearly every team has played their first contest of the year.

Eight former Zags already suited up for their first game of the season, with Julian Strawther (DNP) Brandon Clarke (injured) and Filip Petrusev (DNP) the three who have not.

It was a bit of a mixed bag as far as season debuts go for the eight former Gonzaga stars. Andrew Nembhard was the star, racking up a double-double with 12 points and 10 assists in just 22 minutes of action for the Indiana Pacers, where he came off the bench. More performances like that and he could push his way back into the starting lineup – or at the very least be in consideration for NBA Sixth Man of the Year.

Domantas Sabonis looked like an All-Star once again in his Kings season debut, posting 22 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists while tacking on two blocks and a steal for good measure.

Meanwhile, Chet Holmgren’s push for Rookie of the Year got off to a solid start, as the big man posted 11 points and four rebounds on 4-7 shooting in a blowout win for the Thunder. Those numbers aren’t exactly eye-popping, but Victor Wembanyama’s debut was about the same, while Blazers rookie Scoot Henderson struggled in Portland’s loss to the Clippers.

Below is a look at each Zags’ first game of the season:

Rui Hachimura – Los Angeles Lakers

15 minutes, 6 points, 3 rebounds, 3-10 shooting, 0-3 from deep

Julian Strawther – Denver Nuggets


Corey Kispert – Washington Wizards

24 minutes, 11 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 4-11 shooting, 1-5 from deep

Andrew Nembhard – Indiana Pacers

22 minutes, 12 points, 10 assists, 4 rebounds, 6-9 shooting, 0-1 from deep

Jalen Suggs – Orlando Magic

21 minutes, 8 points, 4 rebounds, 3-12 shooting, 2-7 from deep

Chet Holmgren – Oklahoma City Thunder

25 minutes, 11 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 4-7 shooting, 2-3 from deep

Brandon Clarke – Memphis Grizzlies

DNP – Injured

Domantas Sabonis – Sacramento Kings

22 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks, 1 steal, 8-14 shooting, 1-2 from deep

Kelly Olynyk – Utah Jazz

17 minutes, 5 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 2-3 shooting

Zach Collins – San Antonio Spurs

32 minutes, 14 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, 1 steal, 6-10 shooting, 0-4 from deep

Filip Petrusev – Philadelphia 76ers


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