The Oklahoma City Thunder saw Shai Gilgeous-Alexander breakout during the 2022-23 NBA season as a genuine superstar. While everyone around Bricktown felt Gilgeous-Alexander had this ability in him, he translated it to the hardwood this season, becoming a first-time All-Star,First-team All-NBA member, top-five in MVP voting, and a 30-point-per-game scorer. He helped the Oklahoma City Thunder improve their win total from 24 wins to 40 a year ago and looks to get them clear of the NAB Play-in Tournament by the end of the 2023-24 season.
The OKC Thunder saw Shai Gilgeous-Alexander average 31.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 2.6 stocks per game while shooting 51 percent from the floor, 34 percent from beyond the arc, and 90 percent at the charity stripe with ten free throw attempts per tilt. The 24-year-old max contract point guard took the NBA by storm during year five, and has clearly grabbed the reigns as the Thunder’s franchise player. The rest of the NBA world is catching up to his game, and giving him his well-deserved praise.
NBA Champion, and defensive ace, Bruce Brown calls Shai Gilgeous-Alexander one of the toughest players to defend.
Bruce Brown allowed less than a point per possession on the defensive end a year ago, being used as a defensive stopper for the Denver Nuggets en route to an NBA Championship. He was excellent at defending spot-up shooters, and even better at limiting isolation scorers giving up just 0.803 points per possession in that situation.
This is high praise from Bruce Brown limited matchups to just 38 percent shooting in isolation situations during the 2022-23 season. He was excellent at limiting jump shooters, especially off the catch where opponents hit just 32 percent of their catch-and-shoot looks against Brown.
Bruce Brown was a key cog of the Denver Nuggets capturing their first NBA Championship just a few weeks ago. Since then, Brown has inked a massive contract with the Indiana Pacers to try and push that young core into Eastern Conference playoff contention.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is one of the best offensive threats in the NBA, turning in 1.106 points per possession a year ago, including dominating the pick-and-roll, in isolation, running in transition, post ups, and cutting off ball. The max contract point guard is certainly catching the eye of the rest of the NBA this season, including it’s best defenders.