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Zags in the NBA: Rui Hachimura shines in first week

The Zags product is doing quite nice with the Washington Wizards.

Washington Wizards v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Welcome to the weekly installment of tracking the Gonzaga Bulldog players in the NBA. This past week saw the NBA debuts of a few Zags, so let’s get a quick rundown on what was happening.

Brandon Clarke - Memphis Grizzlies

Last week: 10.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.7 blocks

Clarke played in three games last week, and his effort against the Chicago Bulls was a very BC box score: 14 points off 7-of-9 shooting, five rebounds, and three blocks in 25 minutes.

Clarke has done well to stay out of foul trouble on the defensive end, but his offense is still shifting in the NBA. Through three games, Clarke only has taken 17 jump shots, including five three-point attempts. For reference, he took 15 total three-pointers last season.

Zach Collins - Portland Trail Blazers

Last week: 9.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 0.7 blocks

Collins jump into the starting lineup is over after three games. The young big man injured his shoulder against the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday evening. The MRI after the injury came back inconclusive. For now, Collins is expected to miss at least two games, with the high likelihood of more.

Although his stats were not exactly eye-popping, Collins was giving the Blazers some key minutes, averaging nearly 29 minutes per contest. He was also shooting 42 percent from three-point range.

Rui Hachimura - Washington Wizards

Last week: 16.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists

A lot of Wizards fans were not sold on Hachimura when the squad drafted him, and understandably so. Most of those fans hadn’t seen him play at all. After three games, the world is realizing that it belongs to Rui, and the rest of us just live in it. He has displayed his natural scoring knack, showcasing his smooth and versatile offensive game with a nice start of the season.

Rui is currently fifth amongst all rookies in points per game, and he hasn’t even been able to tap into a long range shot yet. He was never the most efficent three-point shooter at Gonzaga, but he was better than he has been to start this season: shooting zero percent from long range.

Zach Norvell Jr. - Los Angeles Lakers

Last week: zero points, 2.5 minutes per game

Considering Snacks is a two-way player and the Lakers have title aspirations this season, it was always going to be a difficult time finding minutes. Norvell has gotten approximately 2.5 minutes of court time in two games, and that will probably be the case going forward.

Kelly Olynyk - Miami Heat

Last week: 7.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 0.7 blocks

Olynyk’s shot has been a bit hit or miss to start the season, going a combined 2-for-8 in two games and 5-for-11 in a win over the Milwaukee Bucks. Against the Bucks, Olynyk finished 14 points, going 4-of-9 from three-point range (before eventually fouling out). His long range shooting is what helped propel the Heat to the win late in the fourth quarter.

Domantas Sabonis - Indiana Pacers

Last week: 20.7 points, 10.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists

Sabonis opened the season in a big way during a loss to the Detroit Pistons, scoring 27 points and grabbing 13 rebounds en route to his first double-double of the season. He quickly followed that up with his second double-double of the season in another loss to the Pistons, scoring 21 points and grabbing 14 rebounds.

All in all, it has been exactly what we can expect from Sabonis going forward—a lot of damage at the rim. On the season, Sabonis has 26 field goal attempts at the rim, and just 20 from three feet and beyond.