Charlotte Hornets: A look back at PJ Washington’s NBA debut

Charlotte Hornets PJ Washington. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets PJ Washington. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

Looking back, the Charlotte Hornets got a magical game from their 2019 NBA lottery pick in his debut game.

Throughout the years, the Charlotte Hornets have had a few stellar rookies. However, fans did not expect a certain rookie to come out and have a lot of success in their first career game.

On October 23rd, PJ Washington earned the chance to start in his first game. In this game, he would go on to have one of the best rookie debut performances in NBA history.

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This seemed like a magical game that the Hornets won, and luckily fans will have the chance to relive the entire game. On Saturday night at 8 pm, Fox Sports Southeast will be airing Washington’s debut game against the Chicago Bulls.

In this win, Washington finished with 27 points and four rebounds. To this day, this still remains Washington’s highest-scoring game of his rookie season. Since his debut, Washington has had 6+ games where he finished twenty or more points.

Washington finished this game with an NBA record in three-pointers made in a career debut with seven. The former record-holders were Jake Layman (2016) and Donyell Marshall (1994), who both were tied with five three-pointers.

This performance was impressive after everything he was not able to do over the summer. Washington had to sit during Summer League to rest a prior ankle injury that he picked up with Kentucky last year.

The magic started when Washington had some impressive outings during the preseason for the Hornets. These performances are what promoted him over Marvin Williams, and earned him the starting job on opening night

Since Washington’s debut, he has gone on to average 12.2 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, making him a stellar candidate for an NBA All-Rookie team. As an undersized big, Washington is also currently the #1 rookie in the NBA in total rebounds with 316.

Washington’s play has earned him the right to be called one of the Hornets’ best draft picks of the 2010s. He’s proven that he has a lot of potential, and Coach James Borrego has noticed has taken notice.

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From here, Washington should only go forward and improve. Fans would love to see him finish the season if the NBA allows teams to finish their regular-season schedules.