Tuesday, January 31 2023

Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma is convinced that Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is a top-5 guard in the NBA right now.

Through 13 starts this season, the Thunder guard is averaging career highs of 31.5 points, 2.1 steals, and 1.5 blocks, along with 4.4 rebounds per game. He’s also shooting 53.9% from the field and 37.8% from outside the arc.

Per some NBA betting sites, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has the 19th-best odds to win MVP in 2023. A few sportsbooks are showing better odds for LeBron James and Devin Booker.

Of course, Jayston Tatum, Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Stephen Curry, and Joel Embiid possess the top-5 best odds to win MVP this season.

“Shai is killing it this year,” said Kyle Kuzma. “First in NBA in drives, he’s getting downhill, super crafty, unbelievable pace. He’s probably a top-5 guard in the NBA. To me, he’s a phenomenal player.”

Additionally, the Kentucky product has recorded at least 30 points in nine games so far this season. He has not yet finished with a double-double or triple-double, but the guard still has a lot of time.

Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, and James Harden are the only players in NBA history to average a 31/4/5/2 stat line in a season. If the Thunder guard continues to play this great for the remainder of the season, he’ll join these three players.

Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma says Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of Thunder is a top-5 guard in the NBA

Since the 1975-76 season, only three players have won MVP after their team failed to win at least 50 games in a season: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1976, Moses Malone 1979 and 1982, and Russell Westbrook in 2017.

Gilgeous-Alexander also has a career-high player efficiency rating of 29 and a career-best 63.3% true shooting percentage. So far, he ranks fifth in the NBA this season in points per game.

Plus, the Thunder guard ranks fourth in points (410), first in 2-point field goals (137), first in made field goals (152), and sixth in usage percentage (32.6%).

Even if he doesn’t win MVP in 2023, Gilgeous-Alexander is on track to receive his first All-Star and All-NBA selections of his five-year career. He broke new ground.

At least Kyle Kuzma is proud of him.

Last season, in 56 starts, the guard averaged 24.5 points, 5.0 boards, 5.9 assists, and 1.3 steals. Not to mention, he shot 45.3% from the floor and 30% from 3-point range.

In the 2021-22 season, the Oklahoma City guard logged six double-doubles and one triple-double as well.

For more in-depth statistics, the Thunder have outscored their opponents by 3.1 points per 100 possessions with Gilgeous-Alexander on the court.

In comparison, he’s right up there with Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (3.5) and is exceeding Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (1.1). Needless to say, these are all MVP-worthy numbers.

For Thunder fans, Kyle Kuzma said what they already knew.

Source: Basketball Insider

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