An Underrated Superstar Should Finally Get the Respect He Deserves After Embarassing the Los Angeles Lakers With His Own Big 3
It is a new era in the NBA. The Golden State Warriors reign supreme with their Big 3 of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green while LeBron James has finally left Cleveland for good to play alongside Kevin Durant on the West Coast. This season all eyes are on Kyrie Irving who will be taking over as point guard of the Boston Celtics after his trade from the Cavaliers last week. But even though there’s so much hype surrounding these stars, some players still fly under-the-radar and often get overlooked despite their brilliance and accomplishments: Russell Westbrook..
The “lakers news” is an article about how the Los Angeles Lakers were embarrassed by LeBron James and his team. The article talks about how this was a huge upset for the Lakers, but they shouldn’t be too worried because of their superstar player.
Allow NBA fans to overlook the Oklahoma City Thunder. Except for the fact that general manager Sam Presti has amassed 75,000 selections and pick-swaps, OKC has been a non-factor. From the outside, it seems like the squad is more concerned with developing and acquiring young players than with winning games. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the Thunder’s point guard, is quietly growing into a real superstar.
Gilgeous-Alexander was a lottery choice, so his meteoric ascent isn’t altogether unexpected. He dropped off the national spotlight after being involved in the OKC-Los Angeles Clippers transaction that brought Paul George to LA and Shai back to OKC.
With a spectacular effort in a victory against the LA Lakers, the former Kentucky star has progressively refined his game and propelled himself into the national limelight. Even with Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, and the new Showtime Lakers on the field, Gilgeous-Alexander was the greatest player on the court.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is a relatively unknown NBA player.
The Oklahoma City Thunder’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander watches a game against the Golden State Warriors. | Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
Working for a rebuilding team with minimal to no postseason aspirations has a tendency to throw young players off the NBA hype train. But it’s past time for the NBA to acknowledge the Thunder’s most important component.
SGA was selected 11th overall in the 2018 draft. He was chosen to the All-Rookie team that season after demonstrating his ability to take over as the starting point guard right away. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander started 73 of the Clippers’ 82 games in his first NBA season, averaging 10.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.2 steals. Shai had a 51.2 percent effective field-goal percentage and a 36.7 percent three-point percentage.
The next summer, the Los Angeles Lakers executed a huge Kawhi Leonard-George trade, sending the Canadian point guard to Oklahoma City.
Shai has started every game since joining his new team and has improved in practically every statistical area.
But 2021-22 seems to be his “I’ve arrived” season, with his most memorable performance as a player coming in the Thunder’s come-from-behind victory against the Lakers.
In a comeback victory at Staples Center, SGA clinched the deal with a ‘Big 3’.
Surprisingly, the Thunder’s only two victories this season have come against the Lakers. The Thunder were expected to finish last in the Western Conference, while LA was a popular title contender. So there you have it.
With Oklahoma City up three in the closing minutes, the greatest play of the game — and arguably the dagger in the Thunder’s comeback — came in the last minutes. Gilgeous-Alexander had already guided his side back from a 19-point hole at that time.
Shai then pulled up from the “L” in the Lakers logo at midcourt and hit a 29-footer with 1:18 left in the game to put the Thunder ahead by six. OKC went on to win by a score of 107-104.
According to ESPN, SGA was feeling it and chose to shoot the long-range bomb that basically secured the victory:
“It was simply a momentum shot,” he said. I was in a wonderful mood.
“I don’t normally take that shot in a game. We do, however, fire that shot at the conclusion of every session. I was confident in my ability to shoot the ball.”
In OKC’s victory against the Lakers, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander hit a long three.
Alexander scored 28 points on the night, including 11 in the fourth quarter, and added six assists, three rebounds, and a steal.
Thunder guard Kenrich Williams, who came off the bench to score 13 points and grab eight rebounds, had total faith in his point guard’s choice to attempt to put the last nail in the coffin.
“If it had been anybody else, I would have said anything.” But, Shai, it’s OK with me. He’s a unique player.”
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is having a breakthrough season.
The former Wildcat is big and long, at 6-foot-6 with a wingspan of 6-11, and he’s also deceptively fast. SGA, like Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks, isn’t known for his athleticism, but his start-and-stop moves and offensive IQ enable him to get to his positions and locate the shot he wants.
He was averaging 15.5 points per game through the first two games of the season. Since then, the fourth-year guard has scored 30, 29, 28, 28, and 27 points in games. In four of those games, he has shot more than 45 percent from three-point range and has picked up 27 assists.
Shai might very well opt to be the center of attention with a smaller supporting cast. According to SI.com, Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault is happy with how his franchise point guard is willing to facilitate and defer at the appropriate times.
“As I’ve previously said, his knowledge and engagement in the club and his teammates is rather unique for a young player of his caliber.
“He’s got an incredible balance between his personal ambition and his desire to contribute to the team, and it’s infectious.”
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, according to Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault
OKC’s star player may be unknown to casual fans, but he’s about to break out, and it all started with a big three to beat Hollywood’s glamorous Big Three.
NBA.com provided all data.
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The “la lakers score” is a basketball game that was played by the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors. The Lakers were able to get a lead in the first quarter, but then the Warriors came back and won by 3 points.
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