Chet Holmgren has second procedure, Ousmane Dieng pops, free throws

Chet Holmgren #7 of the Oklahoma City Thunder. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Chet Holmgren #7 of the Oklahoma City Thunder. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

The Oklahoma City Thunder season just keeps rolling along, as we near Christmas Day which marks the unofficial start to the NBA season for some more casual fans, the OKC Thunder are still in the mix. Sitting with an 11-15 record just two games out of an NBA Play-in Tournament spot. As fans wait for the return of Chet Holmgren, who the team selected with the second overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, is sidelined for the entire season with an injury sustained back in August at a Pro-Am event in Seattle.

Chet Holmgren has been rehabbing nicely since the initial surgery, as Mark Daigneault and the team have updated us throughout the process by saying he is on track. While some fans were excited about the removal of the walking boot and had visions of a 2022-23 return dancing in their head the organization has always cautioned against that saying he is on track to make a return during the 2023-24 season.

Thunderous Intentions weekly Notebook: Chet Holmgren has a second procedure, Ousmane Dieng shines, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander gets to the free throw line at the cost of opposing fan support

This week, Chet Holmgren had a second procedure to “remove hardware from his initial Lisfraanc Procedure in August.” according to Thunder PR. They also state the procedure was performed by Dr. David Porter at Forte Sports Medicine and Orthopedics in Carmel, Indiana. Oklahoma City Thunder medical personnel was present for this procedure.

The PR team also informed us that Chet Holmgren is still on track to return for the 2023-24 NBA season. Which, the NBA announced will start on October 24th, 2023.

Ousmane Dieng, who was also selected in the 2022 NBA Draft with the 11th overall pick that Sam Presti snatched up from the New York Knicks by trading away three future firsts, has been on a tear as of late at both the NBA and NBA G-League level.

In his last NBA game against the Atlanta Hawks, Dieng posted a career-high 15 points, with five rebounds, a steal, and an assist while shooting 3-for-4 from distance and 75 percent overall.

After that game in Atlanta, Dieng was sent to the G-League, where he continued to carve up the competition. Ousmane Dieng in the Blue’s most recent game went for 17 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists. That followed a 20-point, 10-rebound effort which still was not his best game of the week. On December 7th, Ousmane Dieng poured in 24 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, two blocks, and a steal.

One of the last bits of news on the week is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander starting to get booed on the road for the number of trips to the line he takes, though the boobirds are mainly out for the refs who are awarding the free throws.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is shooting a career-high ten free throws per game while turning in a career-high 92 percent at the charity stripe which is the second-best mark in the league. The max contract point guard is third in the NBA in Free Throw attempts just nine behind second-place Luka Doncic and 14 behind Giannis Antetokounmpo.

While opposing crowds are getting a tad upset with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s free throw number, I do not think it will reach the seething boiling point for Gilgeous-Alexander the way it has for James Harden and Luka Doncic, just due to the nature of the fouls.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander gets to the line by attacking downhill, not hooking someone’s arm, and he rarely is jumping into contact that is not an every-possession staple of the Kentucky product. So fans might get restless with the refs, but there is not much room to stand on for opposing fans to attack Shai Gilgeous-Alexander as a player over his free throw attempts.

This week for OKC: @ Mavs, vs Heat, vs Timberwolves, vs Grizzlies.

Prediction for this week: 1-2

Song of the Week: I’ll be home for Christmas by Elvis

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