A few observations following Thunder vs. Wizards

The Thunder haven’t played a terrible brand of basketball, but they certainly haven’t been winning games. In Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s return to action, the Thunder nearly defeated the Washington Wizards but didn’t, dropping their fifth-straight game, 101-99.

Here’s a brief breakdown of Black Friday’s highlights from the Paycom Center.

SGA looked outstanding and rejuvenated…in the first quarter.

Through the first 12 minutes, SGA was 4-for-4 from the field with eight points. He looked refreshed, well-rested, rejuvenated, and aggressive. Shai also got his teammates involved, ending the first quarter with five assists and four rebounds.

While statistically, he had a balanced game, SGA finished the final three quarters shooting 3-of-12 for seven points. He never seemed as aggressive or sure of himself as he did to start the game.

Tre Mann looked great in limited minutes.

While he only saw 17 minutes of action, Tre Mann looked outstanding and didn’t look like a G League player by any means. Though he shot 3-of-11 from the field, his confidence and flashy moves shined through, and it’s evident that he’s going to develop into a “professional scorer” one day. He scored seven points on the night.

Josh Giddey needed those two games without SGA.

I’m not saying that Josh Giddey’s better than SGA or anything, but he needed those two games where SGA was sidelined with a sprained ankle to blossom as an NBA player. Giddey was doing well regardless, but at times he seemed slightly timid on the offensive end, but two-straight productive games where he’s the undisputed floor general, we witnessed a different Josh Giddey.

He will be a great player, maybe a bigger Steve Nash at that, and I think he figured that out with his last three performances. Giddey scored in double-figures in six-straight contests, and against the Wizards, scored 11 points, seven rebounds, and four assists.

Addam M. Francisco

Founder & Editor-in-Chief. National Association of Black Journalists. University of Central Oklahoma.

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