3 perfect stocking stuffers for OKC Thunder stars

OKC Thunder - Happy Holidays!Cheer team entertains the fans in their Christmas outfits during an NBA game. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
OKC Thunder - Happy Holidays!Cheer team entertains the fans in their Christmas outfits during an NBA game. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
OKC Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scores career-best 44 vs. Pelicans. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports /

Some help at the ballot box for OKC Thunder superstar Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

While it might be politically incorrect, the next gift is a ballot box stuffer. Yeah, I said it – we need all the help we can get. The OKC Thunder is a small market franchise that simply doesn’t get national exposure.

While players on the team have benefitted in years past (Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant) that was also associated with an era where the team WAS getting ample air time. In fact, the OKC Thunder rarely was left off the Christmas slate during those years.

But, with the team restructuring for the future, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander isn’t getting anywhere near the coverage or exposure required to get the casual fan votes.

Although the starters are decided from a mix of fans, players, and media voting SGA will need some help in order to get the nod for the start.

Odds are even with Stephen Curry being out injured he’ll still garner the popular vote. The Warriors’ record entering Christmas Day is 15-18  whereas the OKC Thunder are 14-19. It’s conceivable the Thunder could have a better record and Curry would still be the preeminent favorite to start.

Factor in all the guards he’s up against… Although he’s more of a point forward, Luka Doncic will be considered a point guard and Ja Morant will draw tons of votes. Since both are playing today they’ll get even more votes from casual fans because the league will be promoting the All-Star Game on-air during their matches.

They’ll garner even more votes if they have big Christmas Day performances. If you’re someone who bets on the games and places prop bets it’s good odds they both measure up as Doncic faces the Lakers and Morant will be fired up to prove a point to the Curry-less Warriors who sent the Grizzlies home in the 2022 playoffs when Morant was sidelined for the last three games of the series.

I mean it’s hard to make an argument that the aforementioned trio shouldn’t be on the team (Luka, Ja, and Steph). But there is also room for Shai and my wish is for him to be rewarded for his spectacular season.

It’s highly likely SGA makes the cut with the coach’s reserve picks but our goal is to have him start the game so he gets more playing time — and more exposure to fans of other teams who might not be aware of just how talented SGA is.

Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 31.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.0 blocks in  35.9 minutes per game. His points, steals, and blocks are all career-bests averages.

Yet, it’s the efficiency where SGA is truly shining. SGA’s shooting splits are 50.2 percent from the field, 35.2 percent from the perimeter, and 92.5 percent from the charity stripe. Again, he’s flirting with career highs for proficiency as he’s 0.6 off his best field goal efficiency, 1.5 percent off his best perimeter percentage ever and is shattering his previous free throw percentage in spite of taking more shots (10.2 per match).

Considering he’s drawing double and triple teams (sometimes an entire floor unit collapses onto him), so his production is beyond what his peers are doing since they have other All-Stars or copious 3-point shooters surrounding them.

SGA registered a career-best 44 points versus the Pelicans this week and sits third in scoring behind only Joel Embiid (33.0) and Luka Doncic (32.8). He’s getting to the line the third most and making the second most free throws and ranks seventh in steals (for players with more than five games in the books).

Furthermore, SGA ranks ninth in clutch time scoring with the OKC Thunder having the most clutch time appearances (21) which he’s primarily responsible for. Unlike several superstars, Gilgeous-Alexander is making his mark on both sides of the hardwood.

Case in point, he’s tied for sixth in deflections. The players ranked slightly ahead of him include All-Defensive worthy individuals like Paul George, OG Anunoby, Alex Caruso, and Dejounte Murray.

We certainly know Charles Barkley and Thunder Nation agree he deserves to start.

So I’m requesting a few ballot stuffers to help the cause. Any takers?

Let us know in the comments section what silly stocking stuffer you would grant your favorite OKC Thunder star.

Once again, wishing everyone a Happy and safe Holiday.

AND — make sure to vote daily for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to be an All-Star starter! 

Next. Gilgeous-Alexander sets new career-best scoring performance. dark