Four burning OKC Thunder questions a month into the season

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Aleksej Pokusevski #17 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

The Oklahoma City Thunder have seen great progress in spurts from Aleksej Pokusevski but can the OKC Thunder count on this moving forward?

The Oklahoma City Thunder traded up in the 2020 NBA Draft to select Aleksej Pokusevski with the 17th pick. The seven-foot big man has been a polarizing player for the OKC Thunder fanbase and the NBA community at large. This awkward, thin, big man with guard tendencies was promoted as a unicorn by many in the pre-draft process which lead to countless memes with each passing behind-the-back pass that ended up in the tenth row.

So when Mark Daigneault opened up training camp with praise for Aleksej Pokusevski saying he has learned to be a “connector” it caught many by surprise. Not only had the Thunder bench boss been very reserved with praise for Pokusevski to that point, but no one could imagine a more tamed Poku.

However, that is exactly what we have seen so far. While the leap is not noticeable in the basic counting stats as Aleksej Pokusevski is still averaging seven points, five rebounds, an assist, and a block per game, it has been evident with the eye test.

Pokusevski has a career-low in turnovers, is not looking to do too much, is a better screener and rim roller than in years past, and just looks more comfortable in his role.

While the stats have not caught up to his improvement it has been clear as day throughout the first ten games of the season.

I think this new look Pokusevski is here to stay, and only get better, because he is not doing anything extraordinary or out of the ordinary, he is just playing his role at a high level.

One stat that has been encouraging though, is Aleksej Pokusevski shooting 40 percent from the corner.