3 Things Australia’s FIBA World Cup stint reveals about Thunder players

Josh Giddey of Australia (Photo by Morgan Hancock/Getty Images)
Josh Giddey of Australia (Photo by Morgan Hancock/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Josh Giddey #3 of Australia (Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images) /

OKC Thunder guard Josh Giddey still has some work to do on his jump shot

With his drives and strength getting an evident boost in the FIBA World Cup, Josh Giddey’s touch from long range is still not there.

Josh Giddey shot 12 threes in the five games of the tournament and only made two of them. While his shooting slump spanned the entire tournament, the quality of looks were not what you can expect him to take once he is surrounded by the OKC Thunder core.

It is one thing to be a solid driver and another to be a respectable shooter. Having a shooting threat opens the game, not just for Giddey but also for his team. This can go past just three point shooting, even adding a mid-range jumper, Josh Giddey can overhaul his scoring profile.

In their game versus Luka Doncic’s Slovenia, Giddey’s defenders never respected his shot, sagging off every time he touched the ball, thus forcing him to shoot an image that the defense deemed the best possible picture they could allow.

Overall, Giddey shot 17 percent from the three-point line — a disappointing mark considering that the FIBA range for three-pointers is much closer than in the NBA.

However, there is no need to worry about overreacting to this. Five games is too small of a sample size to evaluate Giddey’s strides, and he has continuously reached a level of shooting respect that would open up his game.

Giddey’s three-point percentage jumped from 27 percent to close to 33 percent in his first two years in the NBA. There is a lot to be optimistic about with that improvement alone, and one can tell that his shooting stroke could even be better come the following season.