Player Grades: SGC(+)
The Thunder have played 26 games and sit 1.5 from the bottom of the western conference standings with a less than appealing record of 8-16. But despite their lackluster win total, Oklahoma City hasn’t been as bad as you may think. Yes, I understand that might be a weird thing to say coming off a recent 73-point loss, but this season OKC has beaten the Lakers twice and maintained a competitive game against the Sixers, Warriors, Hawks and Jazz. The Thunder are not a team you can play without facing a challenge. We’ll be looking at how every Thunder player has performed thus far.Lu Dort:
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: C+
This has been a down year for Gilgeous-Alexander, let’s not get things twisted. He is averaging 21.2 points per game, down from 23.7 last year. His true shooting percentage is a highly questionable 52.2%, down from an elite 62.3% last year. His three-point percentage has dipped from 41.8% to 29.5%.
What is causing this slump for SGA? I don’t believe it’s proof that “2021 was a fluke season”, as this year has been a step down from even his 2019-20 season. The type of defense he is facing night in and night out is far more aggressive than it was last season; he’s facing double teams on almost every possession and it’s causing him issues as he tries to get into rhythm.
His shot selection has also been questionable. You will consistently see a barrage of sidestep and step-back threes over the defender that aren’t the best shots possible.
Shai recently had consecutive 30+ point games against Houston and Detroit. We hope those games will mark the turning point for his season.
Other grades: Lu Dort: A- / Josh Giddey: B+