The Nets-Lakers preseason opener left fans without performances from the Nets superstars but gave the team’s younger players the chance to shine.

The Nets’ big three and veterans, including Kevin Durant, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Blake Griffin, Joe Harris, and Patty Mills, remained on the bench for the duration of the game, leaving the Nets’ rookie Cam Thomas in the spotlight.

The 20-year-old rookie finished his night shooting 7 of 14 from the floor and 6 of 7 from the free-throw line.

Thomas, who was guarded by a strong defender, Wayne Ellington, dropped 21 points throughout the game, leading players on both teams.

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When asked about Cam’s performance, Nets’ head coach Steeve Nash said:

“Cam’s a scorer. He can score. … He’s got a lot to learn and a lot of growing to do, but he starts with a lot of ability. I’m not surprised. He has that type of talent, and the game just got to continue to develop.”

Thomas was selected late in the first round of the 2021 NBA Draft at the 27th pick and was due to doubts from many critics. Despite his fall in the draft, Thomas finished his summer league as the co-MVP and top scorer in the Las Vegas Summer League.

Luckily for Nets fans, Thomas’ explosive scoring did not slow down in his first preseason game, where he had the chance to demonstrate his skills against more seasoned players.

Thomas had been working closely with James Harden and Kyrie Irving to continue developing his scoring and has mentioned that:

“Me and Kyrie have been talking a lot, talking about little stuff. So I’m trying to take from him as much as I can because it can help me in the long run.”

Nets fans should be excited to see Cam continue exploding in games and making an impact for the team as the season progresses.

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