OKC Thunder re-grade: Add Mitch McGary to a long line of what ifs

Mitch McGary #33 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Mitch McGary #33 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Mitch McGary #33 of the OKC Thunder (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

The Mitch McGary experience was a fun one

As a rookie, Mitch McGary played in 32 games, making a pair of starts, and averaging 15 minutes per contest. I was not the only one with sky-high expectations, and we were getting ready to see if McGary could reach them or not.

I will always remember where I was the first time it seemed as though this Mitch McGary pick would work out. It was a February L.A. Clippers contest against Lob city. An afternoon game on national television, with the OKC Thunder winning big, 131-108.

My family, who like to watch the Thunder but of course are not as nerdy about it as me–again, let’s face it I am a crazy person–were having fun with the fact that to this point in the season, McGary had played in two games for a total of three points, despite my constant praise since draft night.

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Given the fact it was an afternoon game, and there was nothing else on this was the rare regular-season game my family joined me in watching. As McGary put on a show, I was finally about to say that, that is why!

In that game, Mitch McGary came off the bench to played over 23 minutes, and put up 19 points, while hauling in ten rebounds, and shooting 88 percent from the floor. He stepped up for Steven Adams, who could only play 12 minutes in this contest.

Mitch McGary was a rim-rolling, put-back, defensive machine. He even flashed the ability of a mid-range jumper and put the ball on the deck a few times. He tied Russell Westbrook as the OKC Thunder’s second-leading scorer that game.

McGary followed that up with a 17 point performance in Denver the very next game, and later in the month had an offensive explosion against Portland going for 20 points.

For McGary, his NBA stay lasted just two seasons, 52 games in total, and only a handful of stand out performances to show for it.