Grading Thunder Players After Wednesday’s Win at Washington

OKC Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) dribbles the ball up the court at the TD Garden.: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
OKC Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) dribbles the ball up the court at the TD Garden.: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports /
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Oklahoma City Thunder
Lindy Waters III #12 of the Oklahoma City Thunder shoots over Jordan Clarkson #00 of the Utah Jazz during the second half of a game at Vivint Smart Home Arena on April 06, 2022 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

Best OKC Thunder reserve performance:

F. Oklahoma City Thunder. LINDY WATERS III. B+.

Lindy Waters III saw his first game action since the Thunder’s home opener on October 23rd and he made the most of his time. Waters scored nine points and was a +32 during his 27 minutes. He started the second half and played the entire third quarter. Perhaps the best aspect of Waters’ performance was how he helped create space for SGA to operate. Shai scored 29 of his 42 points while Waters was on the court with him, including 14 points in the paint. Waters came into the game for the first time with 3:30 remaining in the first quarter. The Thunder were down 15 at the time, but they ended the quarter on a 13-6 run. SGA immediately scored seven points after Waters came in, all of which were in the paint besides a free throw to finish a three-point play. Shai also assisted on two baskets to end the first quarter, including a three-point basket by Waters himself. Don’t be surprised if we see Shai and Lindy on the court together more often in the future.

Best opponent performance:

F/C. Washington Wizards. KRISTAPS PORZINGIS. A-.

Porzingis was the leading scorer and rebounder for the Wizards on Wednesday night. He also assisted on four baskets and provided one steal and one block on the defensive end. His +16 plus/minus was the second highest on his team, and he played the third-most minutes of any Wizards player in the game. It’s rare to see a 7-foot-3 player who is so deadly from three-point range, but Porzingis scored 12 of his 27 points from downtown and made more three-pointers than he missed. It’s easy to see why Porzingis was such an intriguing talent early on in his career.

In closing:

The Thunder head to Memphis on Friday to play the Grizzlies at 7pm. Watching Shai match up against Ja Morant will surely be must-see TV. This game will be the final game of a four-game road trip before the Thunder head home to face the Knicks next Monday evening at the Paycom Center.