The matchup going into this game of Josh Giddey and Cade Cunningham was one of high anticipation.
Right off the bat, Giddey took a high ball screen, split the help and finished through contact with a two handed dunk. After every Thunder fan had damaged their vocal chords, it was their heart that would next need attention. After ending up on the floor for a loose ball, Giddeys ankle got tied up and he came up limping. He would wave off his early sub, and attempt to stay into the game but you could tell that despite his toughness he just wasn’t feeling right. He was subbed out about 5 minutes into the game and wouldn’t come back in, diagnosed with a left ankle sprain.
Oklahoma City ended up winning the game anyways, 76-72.
The Thunder were struggling early, and the Pistons were pumping taking an early lead of 26-12. Josh Hall and Charlie Brown Jr. subbed in, and their play turned the game on its heel. CBJ showed a lot of versatility defensively though struggling offensively, while Josh Hall looked like he was playing for a fully-guaranteed contract from the Thunder. He only had 6 points at the half, but he provided offense when it couldn’t be found anywhere else.
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl showed how solid he is going to be for the Thunder, doing a little bit of everything on both ends. JRE who had 14 points and 6 rebounds showed the ability to crash the glass, knock down 3-pointers, switch on the perimeter, and more in his steady performance. Aaron Wiggins (13 points, 6-11 shooting) played with great energy and efficiency, showing a variety of moves to score inside. Tre Mann (much like the whole team) struggled early, but showed some really nice flashes throughout the game, he finished with 6 points on 3-14 shooting.
The hero of the game however was Theo Maledon. At halftime, all the people who had tuned in to see Cade, were treated with an interview with Theo. He had 9 points and 7 assists at the half, and would finish with 15 points, 11 assists, 5 rebounds, and just 2 turnovers (!!!).
All in all it was a fun night for Thunder fans, as we wait for the next game, as well as news on if we will see Giddey again in Summer League.
OKC’s Game 2 of Summer League is on Aug. 11 vs. the Pelicans.