Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will be available against the Jazz Sunday

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

The Oklahoma City Thunder will regain their star point guard as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander cleared the NBA Health and Safety protocols on Saturday afternoon. The Thunder have a crucial matchup with the Utah Jazz waiting for them on Sunday night in the Paycom Center.

Despite the wrongful narratives running wild on the OKC Thunder, involving tanking, or skepticism around Shai Gilgeous-Alexander‘s injuries that held him out since the first game after the All-Star break, as soon as the league cleared him from the health and safety protocols, he is returning to the hardwood.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has cleared health and safety protocols and will be available against the Utah Jazz on Sunday in the Paycom Center.

The 24-year-old point guard has played in 54 games this season, over 80 percent of the OKC Thunder contests. In those games, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has averaged 31 points, four rebounds, and five assists while shooting 50 percent from the floor, nearly 34 percent from beyond the arc, and almost 91 percent at the line.

Fresh off his first All-Star appearance, Gilgeous-Alexander will be chasing an All-NBA nod the rest of the way. SGA is shooting 63 percent at the rim, 47 percent from the mid-range, and 48 percent in the short-mid-range, all representing career highs.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ranks in the 81st percentile offensively, creating 1.644 points per possession, thriving in transition (1.245 PPP), and half-court offense (77th percentile) according to synergy.

Defensively, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander grades out as an “excellent” defender ranking in the 85th percentile and allowing just 0.858 points per possession.

The Oklahoma City Thunder sits a game and a half out of the 9th seed, currently occupied by the Utah Jazz, who the Thunder face tonight in the Paycom Center. But, on the flip side, they are just 2.5 games back of the fifth-worst record in the NBA, which would land them a 10.5 percent shot at Victor Wembanyama and a 42.1 percent chance at a top-four pick.

This season can go any direction, standings-wise, but it is essential to continue to stress the Oklahoma City Thunder are just going to let the season play out naturally. Whatever happens, they are comfortable with it. That is proven again with them bringing Shai Gilgeous-Alexander back the second he was eligible to return.

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