Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is dunking the ball more this year

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Oklahoma City Thunder have seen max contract point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander take his game to another level this season. The Kentucky product is averaging 31 points, four rebounds, and nearly six assists per game while shooting 50 percent from the floor and 32 percent from three. Gilgeous-Alexander is getting to the Free Throw line 10 times per game and is shooting a career-high 93 percent at the rim which is a 12 percent increase from his previous high.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has gone from being an All-Star snub to the MVP conversation and a practical lock for the mid-season affair in Salt Lake City. SGA should get his first All-Star nod and has a shot to land on one of the three All-NBA teams depending on how this season unfolds the rest of the way.

The Oklahoma City Thunder are seeing Shai Gilgeous-Alexander become a star player this season and among his improvement are his increased slams this season

The 24-year-old guard has improved nearly everything about his game this season. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is playing better defense, showing better ball handling, shooting his best mark from the free throw line, the mid-range, and at the rim, and has even flashed better playmaking and passing ability to break down the opposing defenders.

An under-the-radar area of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s game that has taken a huge step up is his ability to play above the rim. Through 25 games this season, SGA has already jammed in 13 dunks. All of last year, in 56 games, he dunked 23 times which represents a career-high. As a rookie playing in a career-high 82 games with a career-high 73 starts, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander only slammed the ball 20 times above the rim.

It is not just the volume of dunks that is seeing an uptick, it is the athleticism to spin through the lane into a dunk, take contact on the way up, and just more overall bounce. Like this massive jam in Atlanta.

This of course has helped Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s rim-finishing numbers as he sits 13-for-13 on dunk attempts, but while the star guard will never step foot in a dunk contest, this still helps his ability to draw contact to get to the line and finish through contact to spark and-one plays. There is a different force you have to rise with to try and slam it versus a finesse finish around the rim which Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is equally as excellent at.

When it rains it pours, and this time that expression is used in a good way, everything is turning up SGA right now as he has improved in every area of his game besides three-point shooting this season.

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