2 Players the OKC Thunder must cut from playoff rotation

New Orleans Pelicans v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One
New Orleans Pelicans v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
3 of 3

Josh Giddey

The Thunder's starting five logged 799 minutes in the regular season -- when they were on the court they were a plus 165. This plus-minus was good for third in the league behind only the Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets starting lineups, among over 2000 lineups to play this season.

This is not the regular season anymore, this is the playoffs and the postseason can often become a chess match. Right now it is Daigneault's move. He already tested the waters in Game 2 by opting to start Aaron Wiggins in the second half and limiting Josh Giddey to only 11 minutes.

Those minutes were rough, as the Thunder were minus-20 when Giddey was on the court in Game 2.


During this series, Dallas is outscoring the Thunder by 45 points per 100 possessions when Giddey is on the floor. Comparatively, OKC is outscoring the Mavs by 20 points per 100 possessions when Wiggins is on the court.

This does not mean Giddey should permanently lose his starting spot. What this does mean is he is not the right starter in this series. The choice is in Mark Daigneault's hands, and he can choose to stick with what worked for 82 games, or he can insert Wiggins and see what happens.

It would be better to be proactive about this choice since the series is now tied, rather than waiting to be reactive if Dallas were to take a 2-1 lead. Game 3 is scheduled for tip-off this afternoon on ABC at 3:30 EST, 2:30 CST, so the Thunder headman's time to make a decision in undoubtedly dwindling.