Chris Duarte caught the eye of Kevin Durant and LeBron James | NBA

The reception of the Lakers was an opportunity for the Indiana rookie to prove once again that he was not cold in the eyes. Author of a huge unbalanced shoot in the corner on the head of Avery Bradley, Chris Duarte could even have been the hero of the match since the NBA recognized that his basket should have been accompanied by a fault, and therefore of a throw that could have given his team a point lead with five seconds remaining.

“I thought I caused a foul, because when I felt the contact on my upper body, I shot. So I thought that a fault was going to be called, but we don’t whistle on the rookies I imagine ”, he relativized.

LeBron James had felt it coming

Beyond this new personal feat, we find through this shoot the confidence that has characterized him since the start of the season. Chris Duarte is not afraid of anything! « It was an incredible shot », ignited Malcolm Brodgon. “Chris is confident, especially in his abilities, and he’s showing it on the pitch. He shows it by the shots that he takes and that he puts. And we need his ability to score. It was great Wednesday ”.

Even if the Pacers’ overtime defeat must have been frustrating, Chris Duarte, author of 17 points, was able to console himself by receiving congratulations from LeBron James after the meeting. The “King” notably remembered the impression Chris Duarte had made on him during his workout organized by the Lakers ahead of the Draft.

“He’s a rookie, in the sense that he’s just been drafted, but he’s older than average. His experience and the fact of having touched international basketball clearly gave him an advantage ”, underlined the quadruple MVP. “If I remember correctly, we had the 22nd draft pick, and we received it in our structures for a workout. And he hadn’t missed a shot. And I remember thinking to myself: ‘How are we going to get this kid back?’ He’s really great, very determined, he has a great shot. He plays like the 24 year old young guy that he is. Indiana did a good job ”.

LBJ was not mistaken since Chris Duarte had been taken in 13th position by the Pacers. LeBron James was not the only one impressed with his performance against the Lakers, as Russell Westbrook was also won over. « He will become a great scorer in this league, it was a very difficult shot he put », he slipped.

Also productive when leaving the bench

A few days ago, it was Kevin Durant who flashed the profile of the Canadian-Dominican rear after seeing him at work.

“I really like the rookies this year. I love Scottie Barnes, I love Chris Duarte too ”, said KD, while the rookie had scored 19 points against Brooklyn. “We played it a few weeks ago. He reminds me of the old-school fullback style, quick to unleash a shot after a pass, who can take a mid-range shot after a few dribbles. He also has a good size. I like him, I like him a lot ”.

For the sake of balance for three games, Chris Duarte was repositioned off the bench after he had started since the recovery, in particular because of the injury of Caris LeVert. His exit against the Lakers confirmed that he could play this role of sixth man with the same impact.

Chris Duarte Percentage Rebounds
Season Team MJ Min Shots 3pts LF Off Def Early Pd Fte Int Bp Ct Pts
2021-22 IND 18 30 42.2 37.9 66.7 0.5 3.7 4.2 2.0 1.9 0.9 1.7 0.2 13.3
Total 18 30 42.2 37.9 66.7 0.5 3.7 4.2 2.0 1.9 0.9 1.7 0.2 13.3

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