Shai leads despite rough night
Despite the loss, the Toronto Raptors did a great job defending All-Star starter, and Most Valuable Player candidate Shai Gilegous-Alexander.
The Raptors were relentless versus Gilgeous-Alexander, blitzing him on ball screens, trapping him on the sidelines, and doubling him every time he touched the ball. The Raptors also tried to build a wall in the same manner as teams that defended two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.
With this defense, Gilgeous-Alexander was forced to play on the perimeter and turn himself into a passer. He only had 23 points on 9-of-17 shooting. The game was the first time Gilgeous-Alexander failed to score at least 30 points in 10 games.
Even then, Shai had 14 assists as he used his insane gravity to pull away defenders and help his teammates get open shots throughout the game. He was instrumental in why the Thunder had five 20-point performers in the victory.
Gilgeous-Alexander showed how wise he is and how much of a team player he has been. He was picky on his shots, opting to go all the way to the rim to see how defenders reacted. Oftentimes, he was unstoppable going downhill.
As Gilgeous-Alexander struggled, the team took on the challenge with flying colors. Gilgeous-Alexander stuck in the ride and led them once more to another win.