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The Thunder tries to get around Josh Giddey's address concerns

Against Dallas, his designated defender was none other than the opposing pivot, Daniel Gafford. Josh Giddey is starting to get used to this defensive strategy used by the Thunder's opponents. “ It's not a secret. It’s clearly taking its toll. “, even the Oklahoma City guard admitswhose career low 3-point percentage (30%) allows opponents to ignore his outside shot.

Which is not easy to manage. “ You start to question yourself, you see things on social networks. Even though I try not to get involved, it's hard to ignore and you start to believe it a little. […] I've tried to avoid it as much as possible, but it naturally comes to mind », Testifies the 21-year-old player.

Left open all evening by Daniel Gafford and the others, he adds: “ Sometimes this can kill confidence. Seeing a big guy step aside and challenge you to shoot… But you have to stay confident. You have to have confidence because the second you miss, they win and the ball falls into their hands. »

Unless we get around the problem so that the Thunder continues to benefit from its creative and “slasher” qualities. Beyond reducing his playing time, Mark Daigneault uses his rear more as a screen setter. Something the Thunder hadn't really experienced in their first two years.

A different use

The idea, using Josh Giddey to set a screen for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander for example, is to mobilize the opposing pivot and push him to come out of the racket. The opposing strategy is precisely to take advantage of this internal help by abandoning the Australian and his outside shot.

I've never really done that in my career. I think coach did a good job trying to put us in a position to punish teams when they throw different (defensive) coverages at us. It's a learning exercise for me, but I'm trying to embrace it as much as possible and play my part in helping this team win as many games as possible », Testifies the Australian.

The latter, when he does not try his luck at 3-points when he is invited to do so, can also rely on his finishing qualities near the circle. Against Dallas, we saw “SGA” fix the Texan defense by sinking before bringing the ball out towards him. Josh Giddey then moved closer for a floater while Daniel Gafford, busy with the racket, remained stoic.

This adjustment seems to be paying off at the moment because the Australian is averaging 15 points over his last seven games, with 56% shooting success. Statistics much higher than its performance over the year.

He does a great job with it. Being open to that and realizing that it's a path for him when he's defended like that is what's best for the group when he's on the field », judges his coach who has every interest in working on this point in the regular season before the playoffs.

Josh Giddey Percentage Rebounds
Season Team MJ Min Shots 3pts L.F. Off Def Early Pd Party Int Bp Ct Pts
2021-22 OKAY 54 32 41.9 26.3 70.9 1.8 6.0 7.8 6.4 1.6 0.9 3.2 0.4 12.5
2022-23 OKAY 76 31 48.2 32.5 73.1 2.0 5.9 7.9 6.2 1.9 0.8 2.8 0.4 16.6
2023-24 OKAY 66 25 46.0 32.3 82.8 1.4 4.7 6.1 4.4 1.3 0.7 2.0 0.5 11.6
Total 196 29 45.9 30.4 75.2 1.7 5.5 7.3 5.6 1.6 0.8 2.6 0.4 13.8

How to read the stats? MJ = matches played; Min = Minutes; Shots = Successful shots / Attempted shots; 3pts = 3-points / 3-points attempted; LF = free throws made / free throws attempted; Off = offensive rebound; Def=defensive rebound; Tot = Total rebounds; Pd = assists; Fte: Personal fouls; Int = Intercepts; Bp = Lost balls; Ct: Against; Pts = Points.

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