Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s injury seems like another in Oklahoma City’s long line of bad luck. The good news, though, is that the Thunder star should still be back in time for the start of the regular season.
Last year, one of the biggest storylines to follow in Oklahoma City was the point guard situation. Gilgeous-Alexander was finding a groove at point guard, but when the Thunder drafted Josh Giddey last summer, the backcourt got a little bit more interesting. Gilgeous-Alexander can still play off ball if necessary, but the fit always seemed like it would take time.
After developing chemistry down the stretch, the duo had some of their best games together before missing the final few weeks due to injury. With Gilgeous-Alexander our, the pair won’t be able to work together during training camp, but this could turn into valuable experience and reps for Giddey. He will likely be the most talented player in Oklahoma City for training camp, and he can take command of the offense early on.
Giddey looked to be more in control during the summer league, and showcased improved creation skills. We even saw a glimpse of his athleticism through a highlight poster dunk.
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Surrounded by a young team, Giddey now has a chance to establish direct chemistry with his teammates through training camp, as the ball will be almost exclusively in his hands. Learning how his new teammates play, cut and react will go a long way.
When Gilgeous-Alexander returns to the lineup, hopefully before the season’s start, it may take some time to work out the kinks again. But behind SGA’s big summer for Team Canada, and his expected improvement in general, there shouldn’t be any worries that he will figure it out. An improved 3-point percentage would do wonders for the duo when he returns to the floor.
But for now, Josh Giddey has a great chance to grow as a point guard and continue earning the trust of his teammates.