Thunder: Josh Giddey admits he's looking to 'punish' defenses after huge Suns win

Phoenix Suns v Oklahoma City Thunder
Phoenix Suns v Oklahoma City Thunder / Joshua Gateley/GettyImages

Friday night, OKC Thunder guard Josh Giddey managed to exact revenge against the same team that turned him into somewhat of an offensive laughingstock within the social media-verse, as he put forth one of his best all-around efforts of the season in a major win over the Phoenix Suns.

Notching a near triple-double with 23 points, 9 assists, 7 rebounds, and a block on 66.7 percent shooting from the field, Giddey's performance paved the way for this Oklahoma City club that had just come off a grueling loss to the Houston Rockets and was playing without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander for their second game in a row.

After months of underwhelming showings, the third-year pro finally seems to have found his confidence and rhythm, and, following the Thunder's 128-103 drubbing of the Suns, Giddey himself explained why he believes his play has reached such heights during this latter stage of the year.

Thunder guard Josh Giddey says he wants to 'punish' defenses

"A lot of it was embracing how [teams guarded me]. I used to hate it. I used to dread coming into a game knowing a big was going to guard me and I used to think 'It's another one of these nights' and I'm thinking they're going to dare me to shoot it and I used to judge my game so much on if I made or missed threes. Now I've kind of changed my mindset going into games where it's like, if he's going to leave me open I'm going to punish them. I'm going to make them pay and I'm going to change their defensive scheme."

Josh Giddey

As noted, Giddey has seen a major improvement in his play as of late, and, over the Thunder's last 12 outings, he has found himself posting impressive averages of 17.1 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 5.4 assists while shooting 57.3 percent from the floor and 38.8 percent from deep.

This semi-renaissance seems to be surfacing at the perfect moment, as Oklahoma City is gearing up for what is hoped to be a long and prosperous postseason run. In order for them to achieve their ultimate goals, they're going to need all the help they can get from their core contributors.

From being considered a possible rotational casualty to, now, a vital component to their recent successes, it's great to see Giddey back in a groove and contributing in an all-out positive manner for the Thunder.