SGA All Star Push
SGA has been on an absolute tear of late, averaging career-highs statistically, as he continues to stuff the stat sheet. Along with showcasing these improvements across the board, he has taken on the mantle of responsibility and has become the unquestioned leader of this Thunder team. SGA continues to blossom into a bona fide NBA star, displaying lethal offensive skills, a floor general’s understanding of the game, and the coveted “clutch gene”. In clutch situations, SGA takes his game up another level and becomes a devastating presence on the court. While his apprenticeship under Chris Paul lasted only a season, it’s clear that SGA made the most of it, and learned a great deal from Chris, (not only for clutch situations but in his total gameplay, as well). To put into context just how impressive SGA has been, his numbers are quite comparable to Devin Booker and Donovan Mitchell’s stats, all while uplifting a team that is rebuilding.
The Thunder have found themselves in a rough patch of games as they’ve been significantly shorthanded. They sent four players to the G-League Bubble, have had players miss time due to health and safety protocols, and have had mounting injuries pile up. Several of the last few games have featured Thunder teams fielding only eight or so players, often having to put players in positions they are not used to playing. For example, Hamidou Diallo had to play point guard against the Timberwolves, and credit to him, he did an excellent job and produced a points-assists double-double. A ton of credit goes to the team and coaching staff for performing well given the circumstances, and for being ready for these unconventional experiences.
Hamidou Diallo has been by far, one of the biggest storylines of the season. Before the season, there were questions about his long-term outlook for the Thunder, and whether he would factor into their next Core. So far this season, he has answered that question with a resounding yes, he absolutely should be part of the team’s core going forward. Diallo has been a complete force on both ends of the court, channeling his never-ending energy into a focus that makes the most of his talents. He has found a way to cut down on midrange shots, coordinate his assaults on the rim, and developed a nice passing ability, which has unlocked another level to his development. As he demonstrated in the Minnesota game, where he recorded ten assists, Hamidou clearly has a passing acumen that was previously undiscovered. This passing ability will greatly aid the team as it creates new lineup choices and mismatches to exploit, where the team can have multiple competent ball handlers on the court.