The plan for Onyeka Okongwu after recovering from his foot injury early in the year was to bring him along as slowly as possible. Get him a few minutes at the end of a half and if he excelled, play him some more in the second half. If he didn’t look comfortable, he wouldn’t play more than 10 minutes some nights.

Fast forward a few months from where he was when he started and Okongwu was guarding Giannis Antetokounmpo in the Eastern Conference finals and Joel Embiid in the semifinals and holding his own. The growth the No. 6 pick showed game-to-game was rapid and a good indicator of what kind of player he could end up becoming with more experience.





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