Thunder: Chet Holmgren reveals plan for dealing with rookie wall

Chet Holmgren and the Oklahoma City Thunder are set to begin a road-heavy schedule, but the former second pick doesn’t appear concerned about hitting the rookie wall over that stretch.

After opening January with a win over the Boston Celtics at home on Tuesday, the Thunder will play 11 out of their next 14 games away from Paycom Center. They begin that stretch with a four-game trek Wednesday in Atlanta.

The Thunder are tied with the Houston Rockets for the fewest road games played this season (13). As a result, the team is bracing itself for its upcoming schedule.

“We all know and are prepared for a long month with a lot of travel days, a lot of road games and a lot of work,” Holmgren said on Tuesday. “We’re prepared for it.”

The upcoming trip will be the longest that Holmgren has experienced to this point in his career. This time of the year also coincides with when some players begin to hit the rookie wall, with the schedule extending past a typical collegiate season.

Holmgren played 32 games two years ago with Gonzaga. The Thunder just completed their 32nd game of the season with their 127-123 victory over the Celtics, meaning Holmgren will soon play the most games in a season of his career.

He isn’t looking to switch anything up to prepare himself.

I’ve had a good routine going throughout the season, and I’m going to just continue with what has been working for me. (I’m going to) try to do better at what I can do better at and I think that’ll lead me in a good spot.

Holmgren is off to a dazzling start with the Thunder, averaging 17.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.7 blocked shots on 40.7% shooting from 3-point range in 32 games. He is second among rookies in scoring and is third in the league in blocks (87).

The 7-footer is currently the favorite (minus-225) to win Rookie of the Year ahead of Victor Wembanyama (plus-150). He has already won Western Conference Rookie of the Month (October and November) and is a strong candidate to win again in December.

In other words: Holmgren has been fantastic for the Thunder. However, the 21-year-old isn’t looking to take credit for his start and is simply just focused on improving.

“I haven’t proven (expletive),” Holmgren said. “I still have a long way to go.”

Story originally appeared on Rookie Wire