In restraint on his first two NBA appearances, with just 10 points scored in 13 shots attempted, Josh Giddey removed the handbrake last night against the Sixers. The Australian Thunder rookie delivered his best score by far.
With 19 points (8/13 on shots), plus 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals (for a round 30 of evaluation), the « magician of Aus » was everywhere. He even tried to crush a big dunk on Joël Embiid to end his match with an exclamation point but the Cameroonian pivot had decided otherwise… It is only a postponement!
« He has progressed tonight », appreciated Mark Daigneault on the official Thunder website. “He took a step forward. This match was a good match for him. But we know he has to adapt to a lot of things, including the speed of the game, the pace of possessions and the athleticism of the guys he has to defend against. «
Flattened by Joel Embiid’s big fault on his dunk attempt late in the game, Josh Giddey got up and made two shots. Better, he was even stung a ball in the hands of the pivot on the next action, concluding the case of a 3-point in the corner, on a pass from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
« I found that we had played hard », reacted the Thunder rookie. “We’re a young group and there are going to be a lot of these nights where we are dominated in terms of experience and physique but we have to be the aggressors against these more experienced teams and I think we did. We didn’t back down and we fought for 48 minutes. We didn’t get the result we expected but it’s good to see the progress made day after day, and since the game against Utah. «
« He kept his foot on the pedal the whole match »
Associated with SGA and Lu Dort on the back lines, Josh Giddey brings all his versatility and size (2m03). Above all, he constantly attacked his direct opponent in an attempt to either go all the way to the circle or find a unmarked teammate. This duet with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander must be the basis of the Thunder project.
« He kept his foot on the pedal the whole match », adds Mark Daigneault. “I found that there was a good rhythm and a great collaboration between them. We are optimistic for this partnership. They will progress over time. «
In this case, Josh Giddey will gradually improve, if only by the sequence of matches. « It takes time with the rookies », confirms Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. “They’re going to find their ease as the games go on, and you saw it tonight with Josh. «
Already very difficult to hold once he arrives launched towards the circle, Josh Giddey displayed his palette of shots in the racket. And it is obvious that the « floater » is for the moment the preferred weapon of the Australian in attack, a weapon which he furnished with the assistant Mike Wilks.
“It’s also a lot of reading the game. A lot of interiors go under screens and Embiid and a good blocker, so going looking for him is probably not the best idea. Having that floater and that touch as you approach the circle is crucial. «