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NBA Playoffs Proving Two Lead Guards Can Coexist

While there was concern about the Thunder having two point guards, it could actually be a good thing.

As the NBA playoffs are in full swing, Thunder fans are beginning to become anxious, awaiting OKC’s return to May basketball.

Many of the teams in this year's playoffs were built organically, through the draft, or even by trade, which is a great sign to see for NBA fans. After nearly a decade of being dominated by super teams, it seems the power has finally evened back out.

In Oklahoma City’s rebuild, one of the main issues, or concerns rather, is that Josh Giddey and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander can both play point guard at a high level. They also both feel most comfortable playing point guard.

Throughout the year, with injuries and COVID-19, each Thunder star took the court without the other, impressing during solo time. Giddey and Gilgeous-Alexander both proved that they could run the show in different ways. While this contention for lead ball-handler worried Thunder fans, the NBA Playoffs have been a prime example of why having two ball-handlers isn’t a bad thing. It’s almost even a necessary thing.

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The Mavericks are a prime example of surrounding two ball handlers with complementary pieces. Jalen Brunson and Luka Doncic have been a two-man wrecking crew over the past few weeks, making Mark Cuban look like a genius. The Celtics have no true point guard, splitting up duties among the stars and running sets. The Warriors have really allowed Jordan Poole to pick up point guard duties, even alongside Steph Curry. Across eight playoff games, Curry has averaged 5.6 assists while Poole sits at 5.4.

While all of the players mentioned have completely different chemistry and style than the two Thunder cornerstones, there is a point here. It’s becoming more and more important to have two options to create. While Gilgeous-Alexander and Giddey may take time to grow and adjust, they’ll need to rely on one another to take some pressure off of the other in the playoffs.

The main concern between the pair remains the shooting aspect. SGA’s shooting splits last season could be somewhat flukey, but the two are undoubtedly going to have to improve perimeter shooting. If that jump happens, the concern of having two primary ball-handlers should be put to rest. Having two lead guards is proving to be a must in the playoffs.

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