Josh Giddey is blossoming earlier than the eyes of the NBA world – and the US media is taking discover.
Giddey produced considered one of his finest video games but within the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder’s highway win over the Brooklyn Nets on Monday, matching his career-high with 28 factors plus 9 rebounds and 9 assists to simply miss out on his seventh profession triple-double.
Watch a mean of 9 LIVE NBA Common Season video games per week on ESPN on Kayo Sports activities on ESPN on Kayo Sports activities. New to Kayo? Begin your free trial now >
As highlighted by The Oklahoman’s Joe Mussatto, Shai Gilgous-Alexander additionally had 28 factors, however SGA “appeared comfy deferring to Giddey, who was essentially the most forceful participant on the ground.”
Mon, 16 Jan
Monday January sixteenth
It continued the Aussie’s blistering type in latest weeks the place he is taken his sport to a different degree – most notably offensively – and helped the Thunder surge into the brink of the play-in event.
Over his final 10 video games, Giddey has averaged 20.3 factors per sport, 7.8 rebounds and 6.1 assists, whereas since December 1, he is taking pictures over 50 per from the sector, 40 per cent from three-point vary (3.4 makes an attempt) and 90 per cent from the free throw line.
After an up and down begin to the season together with some calls Giddey was in a sophomore droop, there’s now a real argument he is the premier sophomore of your entire draft class.
The 20-year previous has scored 20-plus factors in eight of his final 12 video games together with three in a row – after solely doing so in three of his earlier 26 video games this season.
This improved offensive explosion is what’s actually elevated his sport to a different degree, rounding out the 6-foot-8 participant’s already gifted ability set.
This was on present when Giddey scored seven-straight factors for OKC within the fourth quarter in opposition to Brooklyn to kickstart its comeback win because the Thunder rained in a barrage of threes.
For Locked On Thunder’s Rylan Stiles, this present sizzling streak from Giddey would possibly simply be his new flooring.
“Cease ready for the opposite shoe to drop … he is been phenomenal and sensational,” Stiles mentioned of Giddey.
“However I really feel like everybody’s holding their breath like: ‘When is that this going to return again all the way down to actuality?’ This would possibly simply be the brand new actuality. The pattern retains getting greater, greater and larger. This would possibly simply be who Josh Giddey is.
“A very clutch participant who can step up for you and rating, seize actually clutch rebounds to maintain possessions alive or finish possessions, placed on a passing clinic – Josh Giddey would possibly simply be this good.”
Giddey’s offense – specifically his taking pictures – was an enormous focus coming into the season after solely pulling down 26.3 per cent of his photographs from downtown in his rookie marketing campaign and dealing carefully with NBA taking pictures coach Chip Engelland over the low season.
Not solely has he improved his three-point stroke to 34.2 per cent on 3.2 makes an attempt over the course of this season, he is additionally using his large body higher by attacking the rim and taking part in with extra aggression offensively.
So assured is Giddey now attacking the paint, he even gave the ‘too small’ sign to Nets large man and NBA shot-blocking chief Nic Claxton throughout Monday’s sport after ending over him within the paint.
“He is simply assured,” Gilgeous-Alexander mentioned. “Very assured. He is aware of what he brings to the desk, and when he is kickin’ your butt he is gonna let you realize.
“Josh has been actually good. He is being aggressive, he is making the correct play, he is taking part in tremendous environment friendly basketball. The child works arduous and he has the psychological (sport) for certain.”
And whereas Gilgeous-Alexander’s dominating All-Star caliber season has earned a lot plaudits for main the extremely aggressive Thunder, it is Giddey latest surge that is actually propelled this group into play-in – and thus playoff – rivalry.
Enjoying the position of the second star the Thunder nonetheless lacks, if you’ll.
Thunder pundits aren’t the one ones speaking up Giddey too, with the nationwide US media additionally impressed.
‘Massive Man’ Giddey rising in confidence! | 00:29
The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor believes Giddey has the potential to turn out to be a bona fide famous person if he can proceed to develop his present offensive manufacturing, going to this point to foretell he is able to making All-NBA groups.
“We have talked lots about SGA. You realize who else is particular? Josh Giddey, he is actually coming alongside,” O’Connor mentioned on The Mismatch Podcast.
“He is been speaking fairly often – ever since coaching camp approach again in October – in regards to the stuff he is been doing with Chip Engelland.
“Going into element about a few of the little issues they’ve executed along with his hand, transferring his thumb off touching the ball as he releases it in a sure bizarre approach he was doing it earlier than. The psychological side – the following shot mentality – not worrying as a lot.
“I am shopping for it as a result of Giddey has all the time had contact close to the basket. He is all the time had contact on these bizarre little lay-ups, floaters and leaners … it is simply the shot has by no means labored.
“The actual fact he is hitting over 90 per cent of his free throws (since December) along with hitting pull ups from mid vary along with hitting three-pointers off the catch. If he continues – whether or not it is 40-plus per cent or whether or not he settles down at 36-37 per cent – this dude has All-NBA groups in his future.
“He is already a powerful passer and he is such a great headsy defender. He is all the time within the passing lanes and an amazing assist defender.
“Giddey, SGA and Chet Holmgren as your present large three with all of your different younger expertise … and future picks, they’ve a mountain of draft picks arising. This group’s future is vibrant.”
Certainly, as thrilling as Giddey and the Thunder’s present play is, the promise for the longer term is frightening.
Presently sitting simply three video games behind the fifth-seeded Mavericks, OKC has a lot room to develop with Giddey and gun rookie Jalen Williams each simply 20 years previous, Gilgeous-Alexander solely 24 (and contracted till 2027), plus the looming return of Choose 2 draftee Chet Holmgren subsequent season.
That is earlier than you consider OKC’s bounty of draft picks and the potential for it so as to add extra items by commerce and free company.
Given their present type, Thunder common supervisor Sam Presti has loads to consider on the subject of beginning to shift from a rebuilding group to a facet with real playoff ambitions.
“I am simply going to say it now – I completely can’t wait to look at the Thunder subsequent season. I feel they’ve an opportunity to make an enormous leap subsequent season,” ESPN’s Zach Lowe mentioned on The Lowe Publish.
“Josh Giddey is figuring it out … they’ve a cool little Shai-Giddey-Dort-Jaylin Williams (line-up) out collectively and it is like 4 large wings and a middle switching and inflicting havoc. The ball is transferring they usually’re quick and athletic.
“They’ve clearly acquired 1,000,000 draft picks nonetheless to return and Holmgren hasn’t performed. I feel they’re set subsequent 12 months to begin profitable in an actual approach. To be within the play-in combine must be a given for them, they are going to be good.”