Saturday, January 28 2023

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander currently leads the NBA in total points on unassisted 2-pointers this season. He ranks fourth in points (410), first in 2-point field goals (137), third in steals (27), and first in field goals (151).

Through 13 starts, the fifth-year player is having an MVP-caliber season. The guard is averaging a career-high 31.5 points per game, along with 4.4 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 2.1 steals, and 1.5 blocks.

Per a few NBA betting sites, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander now has the 14th-best odds to win MVP in 2023. Though, the guard is the betting favorite to win NBA Most Improved Player.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is also shooting 53.9% from the field and 37.8% from 3-point range. His usage percentage ranks as the sixth-best in the league (32.6%).

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic is the only player with more unassisted points at the rim. Plus, Gilgeous-Alexander is logging 24 drives per game, his second-most since the 2020-21 season (25.2).

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander leads the NBA in total points on unassisted 2-pointers

On Wednesday night, Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal drained a potential game-winning shot against the Thunder in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter. Washington led 120-118 with 6.1 seconds left.

But then Thunder coach Mark Daigneault called a timeout.

“We just wanted to make sure we got [Shai Gilgeous-Alexander] the ball,” Daigneault said after the game.

After the timeout, the Kentucky product was given one last opportunity to give Oklahoma City the win. The guard then sank a game-winning step-back 3-pointer, leaving just 1.1 seconds left on the clock.

Oklahoma City’s 121-120 win over the Wizards was the team’s seventh win of the season.

“I kind of knew Shai was gonna shoot a three,” Thunder guard Lu Dort added. “That’s just him.”

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ended his performance with 37 points, 4.0 rebounds, 8.0 assists, 2.0 steals, and 1.0 block in 36 minutes played. He finished 13-of-26 (50%) shooting from the floor and 2-of-4 (50%) from downtown.

It was the guard’s ninth 30-point effort this season. The Thunder’s 108-94 road loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Nov. 5 was Gilgeous-Alexander’s only game with less than 20 points this season.

He has not yet recorded any double-doubles or triple-doubles, but the guard is an offensive juggernaut. Without SGA, the Thunder would probably have less than three wins right now.

Source: Basketball Insider

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