Thunder: Josh Giddey talks 'love' for physical play after huge night vs Hornets

Apr 7, 2024; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey (3) drives on
Apr 7, 2024; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey (3) drives on / Scott Kinser-USA TODAY Sports

After enduring three straight losses for the first time all season, the OKC Thunder managed to thrust themselves back into the win column with a hard-fought showing against the Charlotte Hornets.

Without MVP candidate Shai Gilgeous-Alexander for the fourth-straight contest, Oklahoma City relied heavily on his backcourt cohort Josh Giddey to lead the charge for the squad.

Though the third-year guard has spent the majority of 2023-24 struggling in virtually all facets of the game, he has proven himself to be one of the team's most steady forces over the past month of action.

Sunday's bout against the Hornets once again served as a primary example of this, as he muscle and bustled his way to a triple-double, his second over the last five games.

While there may be questions regarding the physicality and size residing within the frontcourt for the Thunder, ironically their backcourt has no issues in this department, especially with the 6-foot-8 Giddey logging consistent minutes at both the one and two.

Due to his build, the 21-year-old has grown accustomed to playing a physical brand of basketball throughout his tenure in the association which, in turn, has helped him in many aspects of the game, including in the rebounding department.

Following OKC's 121-118 win over Charlotte, Giddey talked about his affinity for such a style of play.

Thunder guard Josh Giddey dishes on affinity for physical play

"We've kind of always had small-ball fives so I've had to help out on the boards and defensively guard bigger guys. Over time its naturally increased but I love rebounding. It's a way to push the break [and] get out on a run, so being in there more you're going to get hit a bit more and I love those type of plays. Obviously guarding bigs helps with that but just understanding trying to bring a level of physicality that's contagious and that other guys can kind of follow."

Josh Giddey

While his finesse and court vision may exude point guard attributes, Giddey's size allows him to slot in as a modern-day forward. With this combination, he has managed to establish himself as one of the most versatile players on this Thunder team, which helped lead him to his latest 20 points, 13 assists, and 13 rebounds performance.

As noted earlier, the Australian baller has seen a surge in his play as of late, and has posted impressive per-game averages of 16.6 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 6.3 assists since March 6 while cashing in on 55.2 percent of his attempts from the floor and 39.7 percent from distance.

Hopefully Giddey can keep up this level of play as Oklahoma City gears up for their first playoff exscersion since the 2019-20 season.