On Tuesday evening, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the Oklahoma City Thunder took on the Minnesota Timberwolves on the road in a matchup of two of the early season surprises around the NBA. While many expected the Thunder to improve this year, few saw Oklahoma City jumping out to an 11-5 start on the 2023-24 campaign; meanwhile, the Minnesota Timberwolves, a first-round exit in last year's playoffs, are a game better at an impressive 12-4.
Early on in the game, Gilgeous-Alexander produced a highlight reel when he hit Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns with a beautiful up and under move, diving in for a tough layup off of the glass after the fake.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander left Karl-Anthony Towns in the dust 😮💨pic.twitter.com/nTuWgge0KQ
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) November 29, 2023
The play was a bit of Kentucky on Kentucky crime, as both Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Karl-Anthony Towns played their college basketball under John Calipari for the Wildcats. Gilgeous-Alexander has continued to establish himself as one of the elite scorers across the NBA so far this year, showing an improved perimeter shooting touch to go along with his seemingly limitless ability to get into the paint and finish at the basket, as highlighted by the clip above.
Gilgeous-Alexander has been helped out by the emergence of big man Chet Holmgren, who is playing in his official rookie season after missing the entirety of the 2022-23 campaign due to injury. Holmgren has gotten off to a blazing start to his NBA career, providing a degree of defensive size as well as perimeter scoring ability that was sorely missing from the Thunder lineup a season ago.