The Oklahoma City Thunder have had a tremendous first half of the season, and that is in large part thanks to the play of the rejuvenated Chris Paul. However, there’s another point guard in OKC who looks like a budding star, and has played a big role in their success as well: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
On Monday night, he had his breakout performance, registering 20 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists on 8-of-12 shooting to lead the Thunder to another victory, this one over the Minnesota Timberwolves, 117-104. This was Gilgeous-Alexander’s first career triple-double, the 20 rebounds were a career-high and in the process, he made history by becoming the youngest player to ever put up a 20/20/10 game.
SGA was at his best in this game, showing off all of the skillsets that made him a League Pass favorite as a rookie. He can create his own shot and has an impressive ability to get to the rim — where he’s shooting 60 percent this season — sees the game well and gets his teammates involved and is an excellent rebounder for a guard. And none of that even touches on his defense, which is impressive as well.
It’s just a joy to watch him play, as he has a rare ability to look extremely smooth at all times, even when he breaks out his strange, herky-jerky moves that keep the defense off balance.
The No. 11 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, SGA arrived from the Los Angeles Clippers in the Paul George trade over the summer and is already making that trade look even better for the Thunder. He’s still only 21 years old, and has the perfect mentor to grow his game in Paul. With his physical tools and the way he can impact the game on both ends, it’s clear the Thunder have their point guard of the future.