The OKC Thunder have seen Josh Giddey get off to a slow start. Giddey has not played anywhere close to the player he was a year ago and was in serious need of a bounceback. Unlike the fanbase, Mark Daigneault and company never panicked. Josh Giddey has seen slow starts before (Including last season!), so his bounce back against the San Antonio Spurs was not a surprise.
On top of the counting stats not being there this season, Josh Giddey felt like he got away from his identity in the first ten games. Averaging a career low in assists, field-goal percentage, three-point percentage, and the second-highest turnovers of his career, something had to change.
The OKC Thunder saw Josh Giddey bounce back against the Spurs, who got back to playing his style of basketball.
Against the San Antonio Spurs, Josh Giddey posted 18 points, seven assists, and seven rebounds to go along with 63 percent shooting from the floor and two blocks on the defensive end. Giddey was a plus-20 in the OKC Thunder’s blowout win over the Spurs, which caused TNT to pull the plug on the broadcast.
I asked Mark Daigneault after the game what looked different from Josh Giddey in this box score bounce back, and the bench boss said, “He was really tapped into his identity as a player. He ignited possessions.”
Daigneault highlighted that when Josh Giddey is looking to pass first, he is better as a player, and it opens the floor for his scoring. Giddey admitted post-game that he had a conversation with Daigneault about getting back to who he is.
“I’m at my best when I’m making people better around me.” The Thunder guard said post-game, and boy, was he making players better around him. While he had seven assists, his teammates left a few more on the table.
Among those seven assists was a dazzling behind-the-back pass fake into an over-the-head dump off to Chet Holmgren in transition for the slam to put the exclamation point on a Thunder run and this contest.
While one game does not make a season or stunt a cold streak, Josh Giddey has the chance to get back on track by sustainably playing to his identity.