Oklahoma City Thunder: What have we learned from OKC’s young core?

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

What have the Oklahoma City Thunder learned about its young core

When the Oklahoma City Thunder hit the road for their early season five-game road trip, heading back to OKC with two wins would have been considered successful. Well, Oklahoma City – led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Hamidou Diallo – decided to go 4-1.

Their road trip included victories over the Magic, Pelicans, Knicks, and Nets. The two most impressive wins on the list are easily the Pelicans and Nets, two teams that are essentially playoff locks, and the Nets are considered title contenders with the edition of former Thunder superstar Kevin Durant, who missed all of last season with a torn Achilles tendon.

Who stood out the most for the Thunder during their trip to New York was third-year wing and former Slam Dunk champion, Hamidou Diallo. After having two 20-plus point performances in his first two years of service, he put together back-to-back 20-point eruptions against the Knickerbockers and Nets.

Suffice to say, Diallo who is from Queens enjoyed playing in the Big Apple, despite the lack of fans in the stands.

Impressively, according to ESPN Stats and Info Diallo and SGA became the first set of Oklahoma City Thunder teammates under the age of 22 to each register 25 points or more in the same game since KD and Russell Westbrook did so back in 2011, for those not keeping track that was 10 years ago.

Gilgeous-Alexander dazzled in the team’s road swing, in five games away from Chesapeake Energy Arena, SGA averaged 22.2 points, on 49.4 percent shooting from the floor and an impressive 37.9 percent from distance, most importantly the third-year guard dished 6.8 assists per contest.

Shai shinned brightest in the road finale scoring 31 points on 11-16 68.8 percent shooting from the floor, 50 percent from 3-point territory, and 87 percent from the foul line, lifting his Thunder over the Nets 129-116.

OKC posting a record above .500 through nine games is nothing short of impressive, the success may or may not last, finishing in the lower half of the league and securing a top draft pick would likely be more beneficial to the re-tooling Thunder, as opposed to a fifth consecutive first-round exit.

Next. Golden State Warriors: 3 bold moves to start a rebuild in Golden State. dark

Heading back home for a four-game homestand, the Oklahoma City Thunder will seek to get into the win column at home, their next game is versus their long-time rival the San Antonio Spurs – although with both teams sporting vastly different rosters the rivalry is on simmer – on Tuesday night at 7:00 PM.