The Oklahoma City Thunder are 7-9 on the season, and that’s largely due to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Aleksej Pokusevski having an emergence. The two have taken a big step from last year, and have remained healthy to show it.
Josh Giddey, however, has not had quite the same impressive jump this season. He was solid last season, as he averaged 12.5 points per game, 7.8 rebounds per game and 6.4 assists per game in 31.5 minutes per game. He appeared and started in 54 games last season.
This season, Giddey has started and appeared in 13 of the Thunder’s 16 games, and he’s averaged 30 minutes per game. In those contests, Giddey has strung together 14.9 points per game, 7.1 rebounds per game and 5.7 assists per game. He’s shown some offensive flashes this season, but overall the game seems to have not slowed down and it's impacting both his scoring and playmaking.
His jump shot has been better this season, as his 3-point percentage jumped over 2.5% and is expected to climb more. As he continues to improve in that department, Giddey is going to have to navigate a sophomore slump before he sees any real improvement.
With a sophomore slump, Giddey can figure in more shots, and he’ll learn how to disburse his shots and play within being able to score at different levels of the floor and when. It’s a development we’ve seen with Gilgeous-Alexander this season, and it could be a solid time for Giddey to pick up on the skill.
If Giddey is going to struggle with efficiency, he may as well come in and take quality shots whether they’re falling or not, so he can get in the rhythm of finding quality shots in the flow of the offense, and taking what the defense will give him.
Ultimately, Giddey playing through his struggles and finding the light at the end of the tunnel, the Thunder's ceiling as a team could get a solid boost.