Grades: OKC Thunder starting five carry the load against Orlando Magic

The Oklahoma City Thunder got past the Orlando Magic thanks to a strong third frame from their starters.
Jan 13, 2024; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jalen Williams (8)
Jan 13, 2024; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jalen Williams (8) / Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
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Vasilije Micic, OKC Thunder, G: A

The Oklahoma City Thunder finally brought Micic over to the NBA this summer as the EuroLeague MVP agreed to make the jump, and to this point, Micic has not seen a consistent role. That is starting to turn for Mark Daigneault's squad, who has leaned on Micic more in January than in previous months.

Now, the playmaking guard is finding his stride with dazzling passes, even some that do not result in assists but gain the Thunder an advantage for the next pass. With so many connectors on this team, Micic can tie the offense together, especially when his shot begins to fall.

The big thing that has held Micic back to this point is the defense. However, in this game, he looked more comfortable than ever against NBA athletes playing his help role very well.

Micic finished with seven points, two rebounds, an assist, and a steal while shooting 60 percent from the floor and making one of his two three-point attempts.

Anthony Black, Orlando Magic, G: B+

The Orlando Magic, on the second half of a back-to-back, did not have their best fastball, but rookie guard Anthony Black was impressive as he tried to find his NBA groove. Black turned in 13 points, grabbed four rebounds, dished an assist, and collected a steal and block while shooting 5-for-8 from the floor.

The most surprising part of that stat line is the lack of assists. he averaged four in collect and flashed some high-level playmaking at times. As that comes around, the Magic will enjoy the returns on their lottery pick.

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