victory in Philly, 37 points from his pocket

First arsonist of the night. Brilliant fire on the floor of Philly. This Thursday, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander recognized himself in a role of absolute leader: success with a cador from the East, neat percentages, mule scoring without forcing the natural. His start in 2023 is insane. Hey, be careful not to end up MVP by accident.

The beautiful homemade boxscore is HERE!

37 points on 10/16 shooting and 16/16 throwing, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and… Only 1 lost ball. Do we realize statistical prowess?

Sometimes match sheets don’t make sense, or show slight tendencies that could be completed with a more intrinsic match analysis. For once, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s against Philly speaks volumes. Only sixteen shots attempted for 37 points at the end, 16/16 on throws, we know many players who – with such a clean percentage – pushed up to 50 units. But Shai did not think record. He seems to have nothing to do with it. On Monday night, Nuggets coach Mike Malone highlighted the contrast between Nikola Jokic’s unselfishness and his double MVP status: “I know a lot of players would be upset to only take five shots in 35 minutes… But Nikola doesn’t care if he takes 5 or 25 shots. I didn’t know there were many like him.”. If we had to name another player with this DNA, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander would be the first to come to mind. This season, he fired an average of 21 shots per game with a 50% success rate. That’s a lot, but it varies from game to game depending on how the opposing defense treats him. Zero compulsion. 29 shots against the Pelicans on Dec. 23, then just 14 the following game against the Spurs. If he had to spend the night feeding friends, he would do it without blinking.

Shai is used very well and presses the sectors of the game that he relies on: the circle attack according to the size advantage and the mid-distance shot, among others. This season, he’s not trying “only” 2.9 3-point shots per game (compared to 5.3 in the 2021-22 financial year). It’s very powerful. The combo guard The 24-year-old put aside the first cartridge, the golden arrow, the very essence of scoring in the modern NBA. Some players built Hall of Fame careers on 3-point shooting. He wants the same end but will not take this path. “Yeah but TrashTalk, the point guards who don’t have a shot, we know what’s going on in the NBA…”. Tell that to Tyrese Maxey who just spent the night playing Twister. SGA’s support game is too developed for him to be handicapped by his 3-point shot. And that’s not the point. The Canadian is running in 35% of the career parking lot. This is very correct. But other scoring methods are easier for him and more in the collective interest.

We loop it in two or three “accomplishments” related to dynamics? At the start of 2023, the Thunder posted a 3-2 record with wins over Washington, Dallas and Philly. Losing a small point in Miami, and surprise in Orlando against a good Magic. In other words, Mark Daigneault’s team is 13th in the West with a 19-23 record. This is so far the only obstacle to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s MVP candidacy. For the rest, the “next to” argue in its favor. Averages 31-5-6 on 50% shooting, a great defensive investment (better watchman NBA “blocker”, 2nd player with the most 30-point games (crazy consistency), 5th best scorer in the League. We’re starting to run out of reasons not to ambush Jokic, Giannis and KD. And if the Thunder puts its collective balance sheet on the page, we’ll open a file we never thought we’d open right away.

Oh and also, Josh Giddey was impressive with 20 points and 8 assists. Big big Thunder backcourt to “kill” the Maxey – Harden association, although Barbu still sent 24 points and… 15 assists. That’s why we put quotation marks. “Off” is very subjective.

Curtain shot on this Sixers – Thunder, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and his homies are on a plane to Chicago. Match tonight at 2am, the legs will be heavy, that’s when we will see the Thunder’s ability to follow. What will also say a lot about the goals of the second half of the season: the Playoffs or Victor Wembanyama?

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