Thunder Head Coach Marc Daigneault scrambled the nighttime minute distributions in each of the team’s first four games, and that trend will no doubt continue. This season, it’s about discovering the current limits and potential of the youngest players on the team. Several players stood out, in one way or another, in the first week of the regular season.
Maledon averages about 18 minutes per game and played the most in Tuesday’s game with Golden State. The blow to Maledon entering his second season is that he is not aggressive enough in attack. He’s a smart player and he always wants to play the right game. At this point in the season though, it’s more or less the same.
One or two dribbles, followed by a pump-overhand and a pass, is usually what Maledon has been able to offer so far. He’s hovered around average on the defensive end, but so far he hasn’t shown enough offense to generate much excitement or optimism.
Hailing from Florida, Mann has been featured as an off-dribbling shooter and scorer. Doubt often comes with this label, because finding that same level of separation is much more difficult when you’re being defended by NBA players. Mann however, was as advertised in the first four contests.
Three-point setback and a knack for finding the basket are already tools at Mann’s disposal early in his NBA career, and he’s also impressed on the defensive end, though he’s still pretty limited at this end of the game. ground. He deserves more minutes, whether it’s with the Thunder or their G-League affiliate, the Blue, as they explore their sophomore guards.
Giddey has shown so much in just one week. A smart defense that makes up for his lack of side-to-side quickness stood out as part of Giddey’s play that was not at all expected so soon. He has shown his ability to score, lead the team in rebounds and prepare the attack better than anyone on the team.
He showed a greater sense of bonding with Shai Gilgeous-Alexandre in attack in the last two games too. Giddey’s ceiling is high. He’s only 19 and already plays with a skill and confidence that most NBA players don’t have. The Thunder do not seem to have reached this sixth choice at all.
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