NBA opening night was eventful for many of the 2022 NBA Draft’s most promising players – including Portland Trail Blazers’ shooting guard Shaedon Sharpe. The 7th overall pick had an efficient game versus the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday, garnering attention for it.
NBA.com included Sharpe in their feature coverage, and had this to say about the high school standout:
“Sharpe was selected seventh overall in the draft despite not playing last season at Kentucky. He came up with a key 3-pointer to open the fourth quarter and also had an assist on another 3-pointer as Portland’s bench held firm to open the quarter and seal a victory.”
Sharpe contributed valuable minutes for head coach Chauncey Billups, finishing the night against the Kings clocking with a solid 12 points on 66% shooting from the floor, making all three of his 3-point attempts.
Portland defeated Sacramento 115-108 Wednesday night behind 23 points and 8 rebounds from Jerami Grant on only 11 shots, and 19 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists on 8/11 shooting from Josh Hart. Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons both surpassed the 20 point threshold, but were inefficient from the field, shooting 28% and 41% respectively on the night.
That same bench, lauded by the league, committed no turnovers in the contest and took great care of the ball. Sharpe did all of his damage in only 16 minutes of play. He and Justise Winslow – who scored 11 points of his own – were the only Blazers in the second unit to put points on the board however.
Rip City could sure use efficient distance shooting and ball security, where they finished 23rd in both 3-point percentage and turnovers last season.
The Portland Trail Blazers face the Phoenix Suns next, on Friday, October 21st. Coach Billups should like what he’s seen from his young prospect, and look to continue bringing him along steadily. Admittedly a small sample size, Blazers fans should be encouraged by what they’ve seen, and if kept up, Mr. Sharpe will be a very valuable member of Portland’s second unit moving forward.
Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero, Houston Rockets forward Jabari Smith, Jr., Benedict Mathurin of the Indiana Pacers, and Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren of the Detroit Pistons, and Walker Kessler of the Utah Jazz were also mentioned in the article.