Since the All-Star break, when Oklahoma City was 28-29 and sitting in the 10th spot in the Western Conference, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has yet to play, and as a result, OKC has lost five straight.
We’ve learned about this team when their All-Star point guard isn’t playing, and it’s not all negative, but what have we learned?
Jalen Williams is and should be OKC’s second option
Although Williams is a rookie, he’s OKC’s most versatile scorer outside of SGA. He often scores effortlessly on all three levels and, more importantly, impacts the game on offense without scoring, frequently involving his teammates.
On Wednesday against the Los Angeles Lakers, Williams scored 24 points and tallied seven assists accounting for 19 points, so Williams is responsible for 43 of OKC’s points (36.7% of OKC’s scoring).
Giddey hasn’t been great, but he’s been tenacious
Josh only played 20 minutes against Sacramento and scored eight points on 4-10 shooting.
On Wednesday, it would have been easy for him to play timid, but he found a way to play the most complete game he’s played in the previous five. Against LA, Giddey scored 22 points, 11 assists, and nine rebounds in 34 minutes.
Isaiah Joe continues to shine over Tre Mann
I’m a huge fan of Tre Mann and his potential. While I do believe he’ll be a very productive NBA player, a blind man can see that Joe has started to overshadow him in the lineup.
This season, Mann’s role (OKC’s firecracker off the bench) has been taken by Joe. Their numbers are very similar, but Joe is far more efficient from the field and, more importantly, from 3.
Mann averages 7.9 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.7 assists, shoots 38.7% from the field and 31.0% from 3 in 18.3 minutes per game.