NBA Rookie of the Year Contenders – Jabari Smith Jr. (Houston)

The NBA regular season has already started, the teams have played 11-12 matches and it is already possible to share the first impressions about the teams and players. Many fans of basketball and betting are traditionally concerned about the issue, many even bet on ROY with bookmakers –

Before the start of the new season, there was a lot of talent available for teams in the draft. In addition to first overall pick Paolo Bankero (Orlando), Houston’s No. 3 pick, Jabari Smith Jr., deserves special attention. Analysts are predicting a great future for him in the NBA, so it’s no surprise that the Rockets rookie is among the contenders for the Rookie of the Year award.

Pre-season matches

Bankero and Jabari Smith played well in their debuts, but neither impressed enough to change the chances of Rookie of the Year. Chet Holmgren was still the odds favorite according to the bookies. However, Holmgren was not destined to become ROY this season, as the Oklahoma player was seriously injured and will likely miss the entire 2022-2023 season.

Jabari Smith Jr. played well in all 5 games before the start of the season, averaging 14.4 points, 9.4 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.4 blocks. Visually, the stats look good, but the Rockets’ biggest weakness as a rookie is poor shooting. Three-pointers are only 25.9% accurate, which is very low, and two-pointers are not much better. The overall shooting statistic is 35.9%. Rebounds, blocked shots and steals are good, and the player’s defense contributes to the success of the team, but this talented player needs to work on the shot to become a real star in the National Basketball Association.

Start of the NBA season

The Houston Rockets opened their preseason with a game against the San Antonio Spurs, giving fans their first glimpse of highly publicized rookie Jabari Smith Jr. since the summer league. Smith put in an impressive performance and led Houston to a 134–96 win. The 19-year-old finished with 21 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists, demonstrating the talent expected of him when the Rockets selected him third overall.

At the start of the current season, the Houston rookie spends an average of 29.8 minutes on the floor, gaining 10.5 points, 6 rebounds, 0.7 assists and 1 block shot. At the same time, the percentage of hits from the game is 30.8%, three-pointers – 29.4%. Jabari played his most powerful match on October 25 against Utah, where he scored 21 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists and made 3 blocks.

Odds and Predictions

Smith has a chance to have a long and successful career in the NBA. Smith offers exactly the skill set that is becoming more and more in demand in today’s basketball. However, he has yet to find his rhythm with the Rockets. Smith doesn’t produce any phenomenal stats at the level of Paolo Banquero or Bennedict Mathurin, so it will be difficult for him to compete for the ROY award without improving his game and stats.

Luckily, age is the biggest advantage and there is still plenty of time for the player to gain experience and develop the ability to make decisions. If he adjusts his shooting pattern, there is a good chance he will become a sharp shooter and a versatile player who can help in defense and biographycon attack.

The coefficient for winning the ROY award by Jabari Smith in bookmakers is 67.00. This means that there is practically no chance for this player to become the rookie of the year. Orlando’s Paolo Bankero (odds 1.12) ranks first among the contenders (odds 1.12), and Benedict Mathurin from Indiana is in second place (odds 7.80).

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