Grading Thunder player performances in season opener

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the OKC Thunder (Photo by Harrison Barden/Getty Images)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the OKC Thunder (Photo by Harrison Barden/Getty Images) /
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The Oklahoma City Thunder dropped their first game of the season 115-108 to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Despite playing a much better opponent, the Thunder were in it within the final minute of the game. If a couple of shots late in the fourth quarter fell for the Thunder way,  we’re probably talking about a Thunder win right now, but they impressed.

The Oklahoma City Thunder nearly pull off a season opener upset on the back of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

OKC is the youngest roster in the NBA, with just one player on the roster being under the age of 27. The Timberwolves, on the other hand, just traded for three-time Defensive Player of the Year winner, Rudy Gobert, this summer. Safe to say the odds were not in our favor.

However, the Thunder showed they can compete in games this season, even against older, experienced, and talented teams. Much of this is due to the star play of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, but also because of key performances from the surrounding cast.

Final. 108. 149. 115. 86

The Oklahoma City Thunder came back in the second half but still fell short of the Timberwolves.

The Thunder had many games last season where they found themselves trailing double digits and crawled back to win. In the third quarter, OKC trailed by a whopping 16 points, and just when things started to get ugly, the Thunder started to heat up.

Near the end of the third quarter, OKC had themselves a lead. Unfortunately, they could not hold on to win, but the team showed flashes of talent and heart.

Some players played great, and others struggled in their season debut, but without further ado, let’s grade the Thunder players on their season-opening performances, starting with the starters.