Chapter 347: Stellar Debut.
Chen Huan received a nice reward when the game was about to start so he was in a really good mood.
“Later, the starting lineup would be Kobe, Allen, Roy, Louis and Julius.” Closing 7:30pm, Byron set today’s lineup.
The five names mentioned were the strongest people in their respective position in the Lakers’ team.
Nick Young was someone that made it to the all-star bench but if the person he was against was Allen Iverson, he could only stand aside.
(I’m a basketball fan and I can’t stand this lmao, Louis Williams over Nick Young when you already have AI on the floor!? Williams is as big as AI and a shitty defender, they should slot Nick Young in SF and move Kobe to SG!! Fuck, rant over, sorry.)
“The second lineup will be Nick, Chen Huan, D’Angelo, Brandon and Ryan.” Byron then decided the lineup on the bench, “You guys will get on the floor when substituted, and the second half of the first quarter will depend on you guys!”
Then Byron looked at Chen Huan again, “Chen Huan, you should watch and learn, and then give your best when you play, alright? This is an important moment for you to let the world know about you!”
Chen Huan nodded.
In the NBA, there was no place for modesty and restraint, only the strong was respected.
“Alright, get on the court and start warming up!” Byron waved his hand.
The players then walked to the court from the tunnel.
The cheers were deafening when they came out.
The main names that were shouted were those three.
Because Kobe and Iverson spent a few days in Huhai during summer vacation so Kobe and Allen smiled as they greeted them.
When some people wanted their signature, they would take the notebook and write their names on it.
This wasn’t an official game anyway so it was alright to relax.
There were more people shouting Chen Huan’s name.
Especially when Chen Huan appeared in front of everybody with the Lakers jersey, the screams were even more deafening.
Well, most of them were girls screaming.
The Rockets who were also warming nearby looked at the Lakers and Chen Huan.
They already knew Chen Huan joined the Lakers but they were just curious and didn’t think this Chinese player would give them much problem.
Although the Rockets had regressed, they were still an NBA team and were still invincible within the scope of China.
The pre-season game was held at Huhai Benz Cultural Center.
This was one of the top three basketball halls in China with 18k seats and had hosted many NBA pre-season games before.
But today, the attendance rate was 110% and 20k seats filled!
Even the aisle and other places were crowded.
Selling those extra two thousands tickets wasn’t because the contractor was greedy but because there were many people with influential backgrounds that wanted tickets so they had no choice but to sell more tickets.
Fortunately, those were high priced with two thousands tickets!
Knowing that the tickets were so high selling, how could they sell it for only 380 Yuan at the lowest price?
It should be at least 880 as the starting price!
This time, they would earn around 20 million Yuan!
But they also were quite calm minded because it was the same for Huajing and Yuezhou. The tickets were all sold out early and it was too late to increase the price!
Amid the twenty thousand fans yelling, the NBA pre-season game — Los Angeles Lakers VS Houston Rockets game officially kicked off
The Rockets didn’t plan to send their main force at the beginning.
But as soon as they saw Kobe and Iverson standing there, they feared that they would be trashed by the Lakers as soon as it started so they could only send their strongest lineup.
As for the two biggest stars on the team, Howard and Harden were quite happy about it.
They wouldn’t feel good if they were put up with the weak lineup.
Having them go against the top guys was what they liked to see!
This was having respect for themselves and for their opponents.
Then right at the beginning, the two teams played like they were at the playoffs.
Whether it was Kobe’s jumpshots, Howard’s blocks and dunks, Harden agility and tricks to get into the basket, the audience was in awe.
But the most amazing thing was the fourth superstar who was in his 40 but always gave his all.
Iverson didn’t show his legendary crossovers or dribbling or break anybody’s ankles but his lightning quick speed allowed him to cut to the basket and get easy layups.
Even the NBA consultants couldn’t help but exclaimed loudly at that.
“Oh my god, Allen’s midair movement is still top notch! Too great! I seem to see Allen’s return!”
8 minutes was played in a blink of an eye and the score was 20:18 with the Lakers leading by two points.
During that time, Kobe made 4 shots out of 7 and scored 8 points. Iverson scored 8 points. Louis Williams scored the remaining 4 points.
Seeing it was almost time, Byron switched the team with the substitute coming on.
It was originally just a game to get match sharpness so the Rockets obviously didn’t care about the results as they did like the Lakers and sent their second unit except Howard who stayed in guard the paint.
When the bench on both sides came on the court, a deafening chant was heard in Huhai Benz Cultural Center.
“Chen Huan! Chen Huan! Chen Huan!”
The players on the court all looked at the nonchalant Chinese young man.
They were a bit surprised and didn’t expect him to be so calm under such a lively atmosphere.
But the Rockets didn’t pay much attention to Chen Huan.
Even if the media praised Chen Huan for being valued by Jordan, Kobe, and Iverson… but so what?
Did Jordan’s sight for talent was even one tenth of his basketball talent?
Among those valued by Jordan, how many made it?
So everyone wasn’t afraid of it and thought this was a player signed to attract the Chinese market at best.
Even Kobe and Iverson felt a little nervous.
They weren’t worried about Chen Huan’s skills but worried if he could perform to his full capacities.
It was the Lakers’ ball after the time out.
As asked by Kobe, the first thing Ryan Kelly did was pass the ball to Chen Huan.
Chen Huan unceremoniously rushed toward the opponent half with the ball.
It was Terrence Jones that came to guard Chen Huan and with his 2.06 meters (6’9), he was like a wall compared to Chen Huan and firmly sealed off Chen Huan paths to go forward.
But Chen Huan dribbled the ball forward before pulling back a bit, then did a crossover and a spin to blow by his defense.
Terrence Jones could only turn around too and saw that he already lost his opponent.
Because Chen Huan was too fast, the Rockets only had Howard defending the paint.
The reason the Magic made it to the finals was most because of Howard’s defense. He was mostly getting his match sharpness and didn’t put much effort.
When the bench came on the court, he would just focus on his defense and didn’t have to participate in the offense.
Howard wasn’t worried at all when he saw Chen Huan rushing in.
Although he wasn’t in his peak like in Magic, it was still more than enough to deal with a 185 cm tall and under 90kg body.
Seeing Chen Huan reaching the free throw line before jumping up, Howard snorted before he jumped and swatted toward Chen Huan’s basketball with his big hands.
In Howard’s imagination, he would block the ball and also bump into Chen Huan.
He was worried that Chen Huan may fracture his hand or foot!
Howard didn’t expect when he was about to block the ball, Chen Huan switched the ball from his right hand to his left hand before he shot it to the basket.
Then the two inevitably collided together.
Howard felt like he hit a hard iron block and felt numb all over.
The ball made it through the hoop.
But what was even more shocking was Howard being knocked away and staggered back two steps after landing.
The place suddenly went quiet.
Kobe and Iverson instantly stood up with their hands raised and cheered for Chen Huan.
The two of them also looked at each other.
With that, Chen Huan showed he was great at blowing by his man and wasn’t any inferior in going through contact!
Although Howard wasn’t the superman he was in Magic five years old ago, his physical fitness was still top tier in the NBA.
Since Chen Huan could knock him away, what contact would he be afraid of?
The spectators were all stunned, then a sound suddenly surged so loud as if it would lift the entire stadium up.
They shouted Chen Huan’s name and celebrated his first basket.
Compared to them, Chen Huan himself wasn’t that excited.
He quickly returned to his own half and played defense.
The Rockets wanted some pay back so rushed up to Chen Huan and wanted to push by him but he couldn’t move Chen Huan a bit and instead got the ball stolen away by Chen Huan.
Then Chen Huan went on the fastbreak and after passing by Howard, he made a great windmill dunk.
The audience applauded again.
Many people watched videos of Chen Huan’s playing in the high school league and Chen Huan also performed dazzlingly like now during that time.
However, it was high school students before, now it was real NBA players, it was two completely different worlds!
But Chen Huan could still do it, what did it mean?
Didn’t it mean that Chen Huan’s skills were just that good?
Chen Huan was both great on offense and defense, he also made two shots, which instantly boosted the Lakers’ morale.
In the last four minutes of the quarter, they went on a run of 13:3 and suddenly pulled up to 33:21!
Both Kobe and Iverson were about to injure their hands by clapping.
The two of them were increasingly looking forward to winning the championship together!