The OKC Thunder are well represented at the FIBA World Cup tournament, including their backcourt playing prominent roles for their home country. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander proved to be a superstar last season, finishing in the top five in MVP voting.
So far, in the 2023 FIBA World Cup, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continues to flex his superstar muscles during pool play. Gilgeous-Alexander is proving to be one of the best basketball players in the World, especially after his statement win over Team France to open up FIBA World Cup play.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have to be encouraged by the Superstar play of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander during the 2023 World Cup.
While some are skeptical if Shai Gilgeous-Alexander can duplicate his eye-popping 2022-23 campaign, he is leaving no doubt of his Superstar status during the FIBA World Cup. It started on Friday morning when Team Canada, who own the second-best odds to win the cup, battled with Team France in what looked to be the best game of the slate.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander registered 27 points and 13 rebounds, swiped a pair of steals, and dished out six assists against just one turnover in 27 minutes of action as a second-half surge led Team Canada past France, 95-63. The most encouraging part of this tilt for the OKC Thunder superstar is the fact he looked off-kilter in the first half, but coming out of intermission, he dominated the second segment and proved to be one of the World’s best.
Team Canada handled business against an overmatched Lebanon squad in game two of pool play. The Canadians hope for a lengthy World Cup run, which led to them attempting to preserve their roster heading into this one, sitting Lu Dort down due to soreness.
This could have set up a potential letdown game after a statement win over Team France, but instead, Team Canada laid the hammer down to knock off Lebanon, 128-73. This game was over before it began as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander chipped in 12 points, five assists, five rebounds, and a steal in this game, taking just eight shots.
Team Canada will take on Latvia, which pits Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Lu Dort against OKC Thunder big man Davis Bertans at 8:15 Central time on ESPN+.