Shai Gilgeous-Alexander May Be First NBA Player with 30+ PPG, 2.4 SPG Since Allen Iverson

‣ Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, a guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder, is on track to become the first NBA player since Allen Iverson in the 2004-05 season to average at least 30 points and 2.4 steals per game in a season.
‣ Gilgeous-Alexander is currently second-best odds below Nikola Jokic to win MVP this season, according to multiple NBA betting sites.
‣ Gilgeous-Alexander could potentially become the eighth player to average over 30 points and two steals per game in a season, joining the likes of James Harden, Stephen Curry, Dwyane Wade, Iverson, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, and Rick Barry.

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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the guard for Oklahoma City Thunder, is making waves. He’s currently on track to be the first NBA player to average at least 30 points and 2.4 steals per game in a season since Allen Iverson in 2004-05.

This season, he’s started 35 games. The 2023 All-Star is averaging 31.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, and career highs of 6.4 assists and 2.4 steals per game. He’s also shooting a career-best 55.2% from the field. Impressive, right?

According to multiple NBA betting sites, Gilgeous-Alexander is a hot contender for MVP this season. He’s second only to Nikola Jokic. Sportsbooks still show good odds for Joel Embiid and Luka Doncic, though.

A tweet from Basketball Reference highlights his achievements. It reads, “Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is on pace to become the 8th player to average 30+ points and 2+ steals per game. His 2.4 steals would be the most by any 30+ PPG scorer since Allen Iverson.”

Gilgeous-Alexander is leading the NBA in steals (84) and steals per game (2.4) this season. He’s a product of the University of Kentucky and ranks third in points (1,099), 16th in assists (224), second in field goals (395), third in free throws (266), third in player efficiency rating (30.9), and fifth in usage percentage (32.6%).

His player efficiency rating and true shooting percentage (64.8%) are career highs. The 6-foot-6 guard has scored 30-plus points in 26 games this season and five 40-point games. He posted a season-high 43 points in a 128-120 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers (Nov. 8) and in a 128-123 loss to the Sacramento Kings (Dec. 14).

If he keeps up the pace, Gilgeous-Alexander could become the eighth player to average over 30 points and two steals per game in a season. This would put him in the company of James Harden (2018-19), Stephen Curry (2015-16), Dwyane Wade (2008-09), Iverson (three times), Kobe Bryant (2002-03), Michael Jordan (eight times), and Rick Barry (1974-75).

He logged a career-high seven steals in the Thunder’s 123-87 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Nov. 14. Kendall Gill, while with the New Jersey Nets, finished with an NBA-record 11 steals in an 88-77 victory against the Miami Heat on April. 3, 1999.

In Oklahoma City’s 128-120 victory versus the Heat on Wednesday night, Gilgeous-Alexander racked up 28 points, two rebounds, eight assists, one steal, and one block in 35 minutes of action. He only has three zero-steals games this season.

Another tweet from Thunder Focus shows that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is 3rd among guards in All-Star voting.

The Oklahoma City Thunder shot 69.2% in the first half against Miami, but were outscored 35-29 in the opening quarter and trailed 69-65 at halftime. This is a rare occurrence that may never happen again in OKC’s franchise history.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, since the NBA began tracking play-by-play data digitally in 1996-97, there had been 130 instances of a team shooting 69.2% or better in a first half. This was only the third time a club shot above 65% in the opening 24 minutes but still trailed at the break.

NBA sportsbooks now show Shai Gilgeous Alexander as the No. 1 favorite to win NBA Clutch Player of the Year. Oddsmakers are still giving great odds to Damian Lillard and Stephen Curry. So, keep an eye on this rising star!

James Shotwell
James Shotwell
James, a dedicated writer for BasketballHour, holds a degree in English and Creative Writing. A genuine sports enthusiast and skilled betting advice provider, he writes engaging articles and valuable winning strategies for sports.

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