Could Josh Giddey be turning the corner? Other takeaways from Thunder's blowout win

The OKC Thunder beat the Portland Trailblazers on Thursday, and with Josh Giddey logging his ninth career triple-double, could he be turning the corner?
Jan 11, 2024; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey (3) is defended
Jan 11, 2024; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey (3) is defended / Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
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Josh Giddey's triple-double showed an old dynamic of his game.

This was Josh Giddey's best game of the season, not just statistically but with the eye test as well. Starting on the defensive end, Giddey was fantastic for his role.

The 6th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft is never going to be a Point-of-Attack defender, and you will always prefer he does not get switched into the action. However, we see players that need to be "hidden" on defense all the time. Some of the best in the world, even.

However, even in that role, there are times when Giddey's defense is a glaring weakness. To make up for his lack of defense talent, he is required to play with a unique level of engagement and effort each possession.

In this game against Portland, he did that. He was quick in rotations; he walled up at the rim, getting three blocks, including a tie-up of Jerami Grant, but most importantly, he had the awareness to plug gaps and help on drivers due to his better body positioning and overall understanding of his assignment. Not to mention his ten defensive rebounds.

Offensively, it was a flawless game. His lone turnover was a low catch that Scoot Henderson ripped away to go coast-to-coast for the finish. Besides that, he never missed a shot and displayed dazzling passes that led to assists and hockey assists to help the Thunder gel on that end.

Those 12 assists showed his progress, as earlier this season, he just did not look comfortable on the floor. Against Portland, he kept his dribble alive and showed excellent vision, anticipation, and creativity with his passing.

Going 5-for-5 from the floor, 3-for-3 at the charity stripe, and was a +46 in this contest. His ability to be decisive was in question earlier this season, then he went the other way and was almost too predetermined.

Against Portland, Giddey did a great job of turning the corner to get to the rim while keeping his vision of the floor to use his heightened passing ability to create the advantage.

It is important to note that the Trailblazer's lack of paint pressure, allowance of the Thunder to play small with no physical body, and missed shots sparking transition all played into Giddey's best game as well. However, these are all individual skills Giddey can translate into any game.