Chet Holmgren reveals how Shai Gilgeous-Alexander averages 30 points

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

Chet Holmgren has continued his podcast tour this week by joining the All the Smoke podcast presented by Showtime. Holmgren gave a lot of insight into the OKC Thunder, praising their depth, discussing what it was like to be sidelined this past year, and his overall basketball journey. He also highlighted Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who had one of the most interesting seasons in the entire NBA a year ago.

This time last year, after Chet Holmgren went down with a season-ending injury, there were not many expectations on the Thunder. The team was the youngest team in the league, the second youngest of all time, only ahead of the 2021-22 OKC squad, and many were just hoping Shai Gilgeous-Alexander could be named an All-Star for the first time in his career. The over/under win total was 24.5; many nationally hammered the under. That young OKC Thunder team did not fold; instead, they took a massive leap. The Thunder went from 24 wins in 2021-22 to 40 wins this past season and a trip to the NBA Play-In tournament.

Chet Holmgren reveals the key to success for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on his way to averaging 30 points per game.

That leap would have been impossible without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who took his game to the next level. Not only did the max contract point guard earn his first All-Star nod, but he made first-team All-NBA and finished fifth in league MVP voting. Gilgeous-Alexander averaged 31 points, nearly five rebounds, five assists, and 2.6 STOCKS per game. The Kentucky product shot a jaw-dropping 48 percent from the floor, 34 percent from beyond the arc, and 84 percent at the free throw line.

How was Shai Gilgeous-Alexander one of the best offensive weapons in the NBA? It was pretty obvious throughout the season the way he could penetrate into the paint, applying pressure at the rim where he shot 64 percent. Gilgeous-Alexander was one of the best at navigating the pick-and-roll, posting 1.021 points per possession while also dominating in isolation to the tune of 1.055 points per possession and even cutting off ball to the tune of 1.586 points per possession.

NBA veteran and Champion Stephen Jackson, while talking about the depth of this OKC Thunder team, and said, “I can not wait to see [Shai Gilgeous-Alexander] go to the two and Cason [Wallace] at the point. I am excited to see [Chet Holmgren] play with both of those [players], but to have [Shai Gilgeous-Alexander] at the two where he don’t have to run the offense is going to be scary.”

Chet Holmgren corrected Jackson quickly “[Shai Gilgeous-Alexander] doesn’t have to run the offense anyways. He don’t even talk to coach about ‘I want this play ran for me’ he is just like ‘I’m going to touch the ball,’ and if he touch the ball, he is going to get 30.”

That selflessness from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is partly why Jalen Williams had a breakout rookie campaign, Josh Giddey showed improvement in year two, and what makes life easy on the OKC Thunder organization as they begin the process of putting a bow on this rebuild and accelerating into the future with this young core.

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