OKC Thunder set to lift Team Canada in FIFA World Cup

Luguentz Dort #5 and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
Luguentz Dort #5 and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /

The OKC Thunder boasts two high-profile Canadian basketball players, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Lu Dort. Each will be responsible for lifting Team Canada to new heights in August for the FIBA World Cup.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has turned himself into an NBA Superstar, finishing top-five in MVP voting for the 2022-23 NBA season. He made his first NBA All-Star game and was tabbed with first-team All-NBA honors as one of the best guards in the association. On top of lifting the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Play-in tournament during a surprise 40-win season, Gilgeous-Alexander averaged 31 points, four rebounds, five assists, and 2.6 STOCKS per game while turning in 51/34/90 shooting splits. The 24-year-old did not just post an offensive eruption but broke out on the defensive end of the floor as well.

The Kentucky point guard was among the best in the league at earning deflections and diving on loose balls. According to Synergy, SGA ranked in the 85th percentile in overall defense, 91st percentile in defending the Pick-and-Roll, and 78th percentile in defending spot-up situations.

The OKC Thunder will power Team Canada in the FIBA World Cup this Summer.

Along with the Max Contract point guard, the OKC Thunder will be well represented on Team Canada during the FIBA World Cups, with Lu Dort also cracking the roster. Dort will be a defensive ace for Team Canada and take some pressure off Jamal Murray and Dort’s NBA teammate, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

While people are overwhelmingly excited to see Gilgeous-Alexander back on the hardwood, the Thunder faithful will watch Lu Dort with a closer eye. In this talent-rich environment, it should replicate his future OKC Thunder role. In past seasons, Dort has needed to step up and take an aggressive offensive role in Bricktown. That style of play does not suit his game very well. While Dort has struggled shooting the three ball throughout his career, he has consistently shot well in the corner, going 31, 46, 44, and 40 percent from beyond the arc in the corners throughout his career.

His offensive role with Team Canada, and this coming season with OKC, should limit his playmaking duties and restrict him to mainly being a corner shooter and cutter. However, there also rests the problem, as Dort is a dreadful rim-finisher. In fact, one of the worst in the entire league, ranking in the bottom six percent of the NBA at the Cup.

A year ago for Team Canada in the FIBA qualifiers, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander averaged a team-high 26 points, four assists, four rebounds, and two steals per contest. Gilgeous-Alexaner credits Team Canada for preparing him for his eventual breakout season.

After missing the Team Canada competition last Summer, Jamal Murray and Lu Dort are healthy and ready to go for the FIBA World Cup this August. We will have you covered for game action all Summer long!

Next. OKC Thunder in position to dominate the In-Season Tournament. dark