Thunder: 5 Stats that prove Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was robbed of MVP

Denver Nuggets v Oklahoma City Thunder
Denver Nuggets v Oklahoma City Thunder / Joshua Gateley/GettyImages

The results are in OKC Thunder fans, and they're certainly not favorable.

Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic just secured his third MVP trophy after earning 79 first-place votes. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander came in second place and received 15 first-place votes.

And while his running certainly was strong, is there a case that the Thunder star deserved even more recognition? Check out these five stats that explain why he should have, at the very least, had garnered more first-place votes. 

1) Youngest first seed ever 

After narrowly missing the playoffs in 2022-23, the Thunder entered this year's campaign with a preseason projected win total of 44.5 wins. They absolutely decimated this line and wound up with 57 wins.

As a result, they became the youngest team in NBA history to clinch the top seed, which demonstrates Gilgeous-Alexander’s on and off-court leadership. His maturity set the tone for this youthful roster all season. 

2) Top four in Offensive and Defensive Rating

Only two teams this season ranked top four in offensive and defensive rating: Boston and OKC. That’s elite company considering the dominant Celtics racked up 64 wins and appear like a lock to make the their second NBA Finals in three seasons.

Gilgeous-Alexander's two-way impact was the main reason for OKC’s consistently excellent play. 

3) 30+ points and 0-2 turnovers

Speaking of consistency, Gilgeous-Alexander notched 31 games this year with at least 30 points and fewer than three turnovers. Only Michael Jordan (33) in 1997 had more games like these across a single season in NBA history.

The fact that the Thunder guard was able to churn out points without throwing away possessions drove OKC to the second-largest points per possession behind only Boston. 

4) 63.6 True Shooting Percentage

SGA’s shooting excellence also oozed efficiency. His 63.6 true shooting percentage ranked 15th across the NBA among all qualified players, which is highly impressive for a guard.

Sharpshooter Grayson Allen was the only other backcourt talent with a superior true shooting percentage than him, and it’s worth noting that he mostly shot open threes or converted on layups. Gilgeous-Alexander utilized the entire floor with his shot chart.

5) Valuable free throw shooting

Finally, he led the league in made free throws while ranking second in free throw attempts. His trips to the line provided hyper-efficient offensive possessions and routinely jumpstarted OKC’s offense. Plus, SGA also often tagged key opponents with fouls, thus sending them to the bench in foul trouble.

Overall, his superb contact-drawing skills were a valuable weapon for the Thunder.