Jabari Smith Jr. 'Exactly As Advertised' in Rockets' Preseason Win Over Spurs

Doric SamOctober 3, 2022

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 2: Jabari Smith Jr. #1 of the Houston Rockets dunks the ball during a preseason game against the San Antonio Spurs on October 2, 2022 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Logan Riely/NBAE via Getty Images)
Logan Riely/NBAE via Getty Images

The Houston Rockets opened their preseason on Sunday against the San Antonio Spurs, giving fans their first look at highly touted rookie Jabari Smith Jr. since summer league.

Smith delivered an impressive performance to lead Houston to a 134-96 victory. The 19-year-old finished with 21 points, eight rebounds and two assists, displaying the talent that was expected of him when the Rockets drafted him No. 3 overall.

The Auburn product was efficient in 24 minutes, shooting 8-of-15 from the field and 5-of-8 from three-point range. He also showed off the two-way effort that had scouts projecting him to be a difference-maker on both offense and defense.

Fans and pundits on social media couldn't help but to praise Smith for his performance on Sunday, with many believing he lived up to the hype.

Roosh @RooshWilliams

Super impressive first quarter for the Rockets all around. Alperen Sengun looked like a legitimate offensive hub. Jabari Smith's 2-way impact has been exactly as advertised. I'm excited.

Jackson Gatlin @JTGatlin


Houston Rockets @HoustonRockets

rook getting right to it<br><br>plus the Sengun DIME 👀 <a href="https://t.co/HngmMSSK2y">pic.twitter.com/HngmMSSK2y</a>

Matthew Tynan @Matthew_Tynan

Jabari Smith's shot is so damn smooth

Vanessa Richardson @SportsVanessa

If you're not excited about Jabari Smith Jr, check your pulse. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Rockets?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Rockets</a>

Kelly Iko @KellyIko

Jabari Smith looks much more comfortable on the floor than he did early in Vegas — finding his spots within the flow of the offense and remaining aggressive. Leads all scorers with 15 points.

Roosh @RooshWilliams

Hate to say it but swapping Christian Wood being a traffic cone on defense for Jabari Smith being a ball hawk is such a significant difference

Jackson Gatlin @JTGatlin

Jabari Smith at the half:<br><br>15 points<br>5 rebounds<br>1 assist<br><br>6/12 FG<br>3/5 3FG<br><br>The shot looks good guys.

ᵂᴵᴸᴸ @BiasedHouston

First half, Jabari Smith has done EVERYTHING he was advertised to do. <br><br>He was absolutely disruptive on the defensive end and capitalized on the open looks he got from beyond the arc.

Scooter Hndrxx Stan Account 🏍💨 @zayiceman171

I can’t believe we have Jalen green and Jabari smith

Itamar @Itamar_17_10

Very much in for Jabari Smith, the ultimate glue man

ᵂᴵᴸᴸ @BiasedHouston


Rob Kimbell @RobKSports

Jabari Smith is such a disruptor in the lane

Nathan Fogg @NathanFogg1

In retrospect it was disrespectful for anyone to ever put Jabari Smith in the same conversation as Evan Mobley defensively. He's so much better.

Draft Dummies @DraftDummies

Believe it or not, Jabari Smith is going to be a lot closer to the shooter we saw at Auburn than the one we saw at Summer League

Doc🇳🇬 @AlprenSENDGOONS

Wow<br><br>I can’t believe Jabari Smith Jr fell to 3.

reezy @reezySZN

Jabari Smith as advertised

Since tearing down their roster, the Rockets have been mired in a rebuild for the past two years. While Houston faces an uphill battle in the talented Western Conference, it's clear that Smith is the type of player who can help lead the team to success in the future.

After Sunday's performance, Rockets fans have every reason to be excited about Smith being one of the franchise cornerstones.


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