Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been on a tear this season, blossoming into an All-Star caliber player as he averages 32.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game on a historically exclusive 50/40/90 shooting split. SGA’s historic season makes him a prime candidate for Most Improved Player.
SGA wrote another chapter of his breakout season after hanging career-high 42 points, six rebounds, and seven assists on 14-22 shooting, including the game-winning three-pointer to lift the Oklahoma City Thunder over the Washington Wizards 121-120. The former Kentucky Wildcat scored 11 points over the final minutes of the game.
“Those are shots I’m comfortable shooting,” Gilgeous-Alexander said, per ESPN. “I found a sweet spot, and really just take what they give me.”
SGA became the third player in franchise history to score at least 35 points in three straight games after dropping back-to-back 37-point outings against the Knicks and Celtics. Franchise legends Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant did it four times and once, respectively.
“He’s very crafty,” Bradley Beal said. “He probably doesn’t blow you away with his speed — When you’re confident in yourself, and you’re playing at those levels, he doesn’t think anybody can guard him. He really has that mindset that he attacks everybody. We should have started fouling (him) and put him on the ground, do something to alter him.’
Shai’s caption >>> pic.twitter.com/RmR87qhDAR— SLAM (@SLAMonline) November 17, 2022
He’s also been playing stellar defense, ranking fourth in the League in steals (1.9 per game) and 12th in blocks (1.4 per game). Before the stunning win against the Wizards, SGA led a half-court defense that ranked seventh in the League, per Cleaning the Glass and is 3.3 points per 100 half-court plays better with SGA on the court than without him.
They also force more turnovers more frequently than all but three teams, with an 8.5 steal rating and the fourth-best ranking (15.8) scoring points off turnovers.
rockstar. pic.twitter.com/1YDJtEtnvq— LeagueFits (@leaguefits) November 16, 2022
SGA and the Thunder (7-8) look to build off their latest win with a road game against the Memphis Grizzlies (9-6).