‣ The Oklahoma City Thunder are emerging as a strong contender in this NBA season, with key performances from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Chet Holmgren.
‣ Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is currently the third-best scorer in the NBA, excelling in field goals and player efficiency rating, and leading in total steals and steals per game.
‣ Rookie Chet Holmgren has also been impressive, earning admiration from opponents such as Boston’s Kristaps Porzingis for his dominance on the court.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is 3rd among guards in All-Star voting
Chet Holmgren sits at 9th
— TF (@ThunderFocus)
The Thunder’s been making waves in the NBA, showing they’re a force to be reckoned with. Tuesday’s game was a testament to that, as they took down the Celtics 127 to 123. The Boston roster was all praises for the Oklahoma City team, especially Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Chet Holmgren.
Derrick White of Boston thinks the Thunder are the team to beat this season. Everyone’s scratching their heads, trying to figure out how to outplay them. “Shai’s one of the best in the league,” White said about Gilgeous-Alexander. The Thunder’s strategy? Creating confusion and testing the opponent’s communication. It’s a tough nut to crack.
The Boston guard acknowledges Gilgeous-Alexander’s leadership. The Canadian star shone bright with a 36-point performance this week. He also bagged 6 rebounds, dished out 7 assists, and shot 14-of-22 from the field, 3-of-5 from the three-point line and 5-of-8 from free throws in 36 minutes. “He’s one of the best players in the league,” White repeated. He believes Gilgeous-Alexander always finds his spot and makes a play.
Currently, Gilgeous-Alexander ranks as the third-best scorer in the NBA and in points per game. He’s also third in field goals and second in player efficiency rating. But his defensive skills are where he truly shines – he’s first in total steals and in steals per game.
The Thunder’s success isn’t just individual. They now hold the second-best record in the Western Conference with an impressive 23-10 record.
Boston’s Kristaps Porzingis was taken aback by rookie Chet Holmgren’s dominance. After the Tuesday night game, Holmgren won admiration for his 14 points, 4 blocks, 3 rebounds and 7 assists. Porzingis is now convinced that the young player is the real deal. “I love his mindset,” he said. He was surprised by how effective Holmgren already is with a good team.
In a recent podcast, Shaquille O’Neal shared his thoughts on Holmgren. He dismissed the labels that call the young player a “phenomenal” athlete. “Y’all throwin’ around words that we had to work hard for,” he said. He believes Holmgren is good, but not yet deserving of words like ‘promising’, ‘great’, and ‘future Hall of Famer’. He’s putting an end to all that talk, he said.