OKC Thunder: One thing Shai Gilgeous-Alexander can improve during suspension

OKC Thunder Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
OKC Thunder Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the OKC Thunder handles the ball against the Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Next up in the OKC Thunder 30 for 30 roundtable, TI writers pinpoint the one area Shai Gilgeous-Alexander can improve during the long layoff.

The Thunderous Intentions writing team is nearing the end of the 30 for 30 series on the OKC Thunder. Next up we dive into some thoughts on areas of the game cornerstone star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander can work to improve during the suspension.

SGA was a player the Clippers held fast to in the initial trade talks last summer. Eventually, the Clippers were forced to let go of their hopes to retain Gilgeous-Alexander. The threat of losing Kawhi Leonard who could re-sign with the depending champion Raptors or with their Staples Center co-habitants the Lakers proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Although the OKC Thunder knew they had landed a quality asset who could become their franchise cornerstone even they must’ve been pleasantly surprised by his leap this season.

Right away it was clear why the Clippers didn’t want to lose the Canadian. Earmarked as a rising star with an untapped ceiling and All-Star potential the guard displayed why those accolades were warranted.

Top rookies receive greater attention in the game plans in their sophomore seasons and typically suffer minor regression. Instead, SGA not only avoided that trap he excelled improving in most categories.

Per Game Table
2018-19 LAC 82 26.5 8.7 .476 1.7 .367 7.0 .503 2.4 .800 2.8 3.3 10.8
2019-20 OKC 63 35.1 14.8 .473 3.5 .351 11.3 .511 5.0 .801 6.1 3.3 19.3

Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/10/2020.

In many key categories, the young star has doubled his stats this season. Specifically, his 19.3 points and 6.1 rebounds stand out. Yet, there are other areas of his game that are notable given he’s not the primary playmaker or ballhandler with Chris Paul and Dennis Schroder each partaking in those areas. That he starts in the shooting guard role but has maintained his assists is impressive.

Factor in his perimeter shooting while a touch less comes with almost double the attempts. Suffice to say, Gilgeous-Alexander is destined to be a star in this league and will continually improve.

To that end, the Thunderous Intentions writing team offers suggestions for the specific things the youngster should work to improve during the suspension.

With that, I give you question 26 from the series…