Josh Giddey is adjusting to the adjustments of the NBA

Josh Giddey #3 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images)
Josh Giddey #3 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images) /

The Oklahoma City Thunder have seen Josh Giddey go on an epic 54-game rookie tour that featured him winning every Western Conference rookie of the month award that he was eligible for while averaging 12 points, nearly eight rebounds, six assists, and a steal per game while shooting 42 percent from the floor and 26 percent from distance.

Within that rookie season, Giddey collected four triple-doubles and has already logged one this season as a sophomore despite his slow start to his second year. The 20-year-old guard that was once accused of a sophomore slump has made adjustments to the NBA’s adjustments on him.

The Oklahoma City Thunder have seen Josh Giddey adjust to life in the NBA, including the counterpunches NBA defenses have thrown at him in year two

Through the first month of the season, Josh Giddey hit a mini-sophomore slump in 19 games that saw him average 14 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and three turnovers per game while shooting 45 percent from the floor and 25 percent from deep.

Since then, in December, Giddey is averaging 16 points, nine rebounds, five assists, and making 50 percent of his shots from the floor and 46 percent from three-point land on three attempts per game.

The Australian guard also received high praise from NBA Champion and legend Chauncey Billups last week “I really like his game” as Billups continued to say Giddey makes the game easier for himself and his teammates and added, “I think he will be an excellent point guard.”

During his early season hiccups, Josh Giddey mentioned the need to adjust to the NBA adjustments “the cat is out of the bag” the guard joked about the other NBA team’s game planning for him with more film available.

So I asked Mark Daigneault on Friday what he has seen from Josh Giddey adjusting to the NBA adjustments 82 games into his career and the Thunder bench boss told me “I think in the recent stretch of games he has tapped back into his strengths as a player, he is letting the game come to him, I thought earlier in the year guys come out of the summer excited and ambitious and I thought he was kinda forcing it a little bit.”

The Thunder head coach explained Josh Giddey “has a game that if you weaponize his passing and get other people advantages it is going to come around for him.” Mark Daigneault pointed out to me that during this hot stretch, especially on Wednesday night, “[Josh Giddey] had possession of the ball for shorter periods of time than any other game this season and it did not prevent him from getting his cracks.”

Not only will getting the ball out quickly with snappy decision-making maximize Josh Giddey’s efficiency, but the team’s as a whole.

For someone going through a supposed sophomore slump, Josh Giddey has improved his points per game, rebounds per game, three-point percentage, field goal percentage, rim percentage, and defensive ability in fewer minutes per game than last season.

Over the recent homestand, spanning four games, Josh Giddey is averaging 16 points, ten rebounds, six assists, and half a steal per game while shooting 60 percent from the floor and 40 percent from three.

This season, the pairing of Josh Giddey and rising superstar Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has looked a lot more functionality which is expected as the duo is only up to 3,137 possessions played together. As Giddey grows into his own and finds his stride with SGA, the potential of this OKC Thunder team is sky-high.

Next. Inside the process of assigning players to the NBA G-League. dark