As the 2023 NBA season comes to a close, the Oklahoma City Thunder ended their campaign with a thrilling finale against the Utah Jazz. While their playoff hopes may have been dashed, several key players stepped up and delivered impressive performances. Let's take a closer look and grade their efforts.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: A+
SGA was undoubtedly the star of the game, pouring in 42 points on an ultra-efficient 15-of-21 shooting.
He also added eight rebounds and four assists while playing tight defense on Utah's backcourt. If there was any doubt about his All-Star credentials, this performance put them to rest.
Darius Bazley: B-
While Bazley finished with a respectable 14 points and seven rebounds, his efficiency left something to be desired.
He shot only 5-of-16 from the field and struggled to find his rhythm early on. However, he did contribute on the defensive end with three blocks and showed flashes of his potential.
Luguentz Dort: A
Dort was a menace on both ends of the court, scoring 15 points and shutting down Donovan Mitchell for stretches of the game.
His intensity and physicality set the tone for the Thunder, and he showed improved shooting touch from beyond the arc. If he can continue to refine his offensive game, he could become a valuable two-way player.
Isaiah Roby: B+
Roby was a pleasant surprise off the bench, providing energy and versatility in his 20 minutes of action.
He finished with nine points, eight rebounds, and three assists while showcasing his ball-handling and playmaking skills. He also held his own defensively, using his length to disrupt passing lanes.
Aleksej Pokusevski: C
While Poku's potential is undeniable, he had a rough outing in this game. He scored just six points on 2-of-10 shooting and struggled to find his footing against Utah's physical frontcourt.
However, he did show flashes of his passing ability and displayed a willingness to take shots despite his struggles.
Overall, the Thunder can take solace in their young core's strong play and potential for the future. With continued development, they could become a force in the Western Conference for years to come.