In a thrilling showdown for the bronze medal at this year’s FIBA World Cup, Team Canada’s star player, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, left spectators awestruck as he dismantled the Los Angeles Lakers’ defense with a remarkable display of skill and determination. Team USA, represented by the Lakers’ shooting guard, Austin Reaves, faced a relentless offensive onslaught from the Canadian point guard.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s All-Star point guard, emerged as the hero for Team Canada. He showcased his scoring prowess by amassing an impressive 31 points, dishing out 12 assists, and grabbing six rebounds during the overtime thriller. His exceptional performance played a pivotal role in securing Canada’s 127-118 victory over Team USA.
Austin Reaves, although on the losing side, demonstrated his basketball prowess. The 6’5″ swingman, hailing from the University of Oklahoma, delivered a commendable performance off the bench. In his 33 minutes on the court, Reaves managed to score 23 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field, including 2-of-5 from beyond the arc. He was flawless from the free-throw line, sinking all seven of his attempts. Additionally, Reaves contributed five rebounds, one steal, and one assist to his team’s effort.
“He kills everybody in the league. He’s one day probably going to be in race for MVP,” Reaves said. “You’ve got to give him his flowers.”
Gilgeous-Alexander’s exceptional showing in the FIBA World Cup bronze medal match only adds to his already impressive resume. Throughout the tournament, he maintained remarkable statistics, averaging 31.4 points per game with shooting splits of .510/.345/.905. Not only was he a scoring machine, but he also showcased his versatility with 5.5 assists, 4.8 rebounds, 1.6 steals, and 1.0 blocks per game.
The Oklahoma City Thunder, with Gilgeous-Alexander as their leader, look poised to make a significant impact in the upcoming NBA season. With a scrappy record of 40-42 in the previous season, the team has shown great promise. They are bolstered by the internal growth of their existing roster, especially the outstanding performance of SGA. Additionally, the acquisition of top talents like 2022 No. 2 draft pick Chet Holmgren from Gonzaga and 2023 No. 10 pick Cason Wallace from Kentucky further solidifies their potential as a Western Conference contender.