Thunder @ Bucks Player Grades

OKC Thunder vs. Milwaukee Bucks.Giannis Antetokounmpo (34): Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
OKC Thunder vs. Milwaukee Bucks.Giannis Antetokounmpo (34): Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /
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Luguentz Dort #5 and Mike Muscala #33 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

OKC Thunder starting lineup grades:

B-. . SG. Oklahoma City Thunder. LU DORT

Dort didn’t shoot well on Saturday night, scoring only three points on 1-5 shooting. His offense has been sporadic so far this season and being matched up against Jrue Holiday for significant portions of the game on Saturday didn’t help. However, Dort tallied seven assists – including four in the first quarter – as he set a new career high. We’ll have to wait to see if this performance was enough to ensure that his name is announced correctly the next time the Thunder travel to Milwaukee.

C. . PG. Oklahoma City Thunder. JOSH GIDDEY

Josh Giddey’s stat line doesn’t look terrible. He scored 15 points on 6-14 shooting including two made three-pointers. He also hauled in six rebounds and dished out two assists. However, he looked lost during significant portions of the second quarter, including a missed point-blank layup on a great pass from Lu Dort. He was benched with 8:17 left in the fourth quarter and didn’t return to the game. It’s possible he’s still working his way back into form after missing multiple games with an ankle injury. Hopefully, performances like this one from Giddey are the exception and not the rule as the season progresses.

B. . G/F. Oklahoma City Thunder. SHAI GILGEOUS-ALEXANDER

SGA has been on a tear to begin the season, which results in higher expectations for his performances on a nightly basis. Saturday’s showing wasn’t awful, but it didn’t match the standard that he has set for himself. He scored 18 points on 7-16 shooting with one rebound and three assists. He also added one steal and one block on the defensive end. Shai had an opportunity to take over when he came back in with 8:17 left in the fourth quarter. The Thunder had pulled within twelve points and were on a 14-6 run. Shai only took two shots after re-entering the game, missing one and having another blocked. The Thunder were down 99-87 when Shai came in, and the Bucks’ lead had grown to 106-87 by the time Shai exited the game with 5:08 left. If the Thunder want to be successful this year, they will need SGA to perform better in bigger moments. While his fourth-quarter performance on Saturday was disappointing, Shai has earned the benefit of the doubt. Look for him to rebound the next time the Thunder take the court.

C. . PF/C. Oklahoma City Thunder. MIKE MUSCALA

With Aleksej Pokusevski missing the game due to a shoulder injury, Muscala drew the start. His 1-6 three-point shooting night was a disappointment, especially given his tendency to hit long-range shots in bunches when he’s feeling hot. It was also strange to see him miss two of three free throws when fouled on a three-point attempt in the second quarter. However, he still finished the game with nine points and five rebounds, and his third-quarter dunk was one of the Thunder’s top highlights of the game.

JEREMIAH ROBINSON-EARL. B+. . F/C. Oklahoma City Thunder

JRE only played 18 minutes on Saturday, but he made his time count. He scored 12 points on 5-7 shooting including two made three-pointers. He also finished with three rebounds, one assist, and one block. Through the first eight games, JRE is shooting 42 percent on three-pointers with three attempts per game. If he can maintain this level of performance, it would be an increase of seven percentage points from his 2021-2022 average. He’s also making 49 percent of his FG attempts compared to 41 percent through the 2021-2022 campaign. The knock on JRE’s game remains his defense, but he’s in a tough position on this current Thunder team. He frequently matches up against the other team’s tallest player even though he is only 6’9″. He spent most of his time on the court Saturday guarding Brook Lopez (who scored 25 points) or Bobby Portis (who finished with 21 rebounds).