Chet Holmgren’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander MVP declaration after Thunder win vs Pelicans

Chet Holmgren shows support for his Thunder teammate.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Thunder) as the guy being lifted and Chet Holmgren and JALEN Williams (both OKC players too) as the other two guys

The NBA will soon name who is the 2023-24 NBA Most Valuable Player and among the three finalists for that honor is no other than Oklahoma City Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. There are not a few people who think that SGA should win the award, including, of course, his Oklahoma City teammates. Chet Holmgren even showed his support for Gilgeous-Alexander after the Thunder took care of business in Game 2 of their first-round series Wednesday night at home versus the New Orleans Pelicans.

“But I got one more thing to say. He’s too humble to say it, but this is the MVP right here. MVP of the league. I’m gonna say it for him because he won’t say it,” Holmgren said during the postgame interview on the court while beside Gilgeous-Alexander.

There is no denying that Gilgeous-Alexander has been the most important player of the Thunder in the 2023-24 NBA season. He led his team back in the regular season with 30.1 points per game and also averaged 5.5 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game. He also racked up 2.0 steals per game, while shooting 53.5 percent from the field. His 3-point shooting wasn’t great during the regular season as he drained only 35.3 percent of his attempts from behind the arc but the former Kentucky Wildcats star still posted a fantastic 63.6 true shooting percentage.

Moreover, Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder in Value Over Replacement Player (7.7) and in Win Shares (14.6). While Oklahoma City features several talented players, they would likely not have secured the top seed in the Western Conference standings and go up 2-0 in the series versus the Pelicans without Gilgeous-Alexander leading the team’s attack.

During the postgame press conference, Holgrem gave further insight into Gilgeous-Alexander’s humble persona.

“I think that’s just the guy he is. When you know who you are and you’re really confident in it, you don’t have to project it. He knows he’s a great player,” Holmgren said (h/t Clemente Almanza of the Thunder Wire).

To that, Gilgeous-Alexander said that he is ‘humble but cocky” in his “own way, per Addam M. Francisco of The Suave Report.

Humble or not, Gilgeous-Alexander has the Thunder rocking with two wins in a row to start their campaign in the 2024 NBA Playoffs. It should get better for Oklahoma City and its fans if he successfully beats out fellow MVP finalists Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks and Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets for the Michael Jordan Trophy.

Thunder flex their muscles in Game 2 win vs. the Pelicans

If Game 1 was a nailbiter that went down to the wire, Game 2 showed a much more dominant Thunder crew against the Pelicans. Oklahoma City went down to work early and flexed their muscles right away, as they finished the first quarter of Game 2 with a 13-point lead. They did not look back since, as they came away with a 124-92 victory to put the Pelicans in their place after nearly pulling off an upset in Game 1’s 94-92 OKC win.

Of course, Gilgeous-Alexander powered the Thunder in Game 2, as he led his team with 33 points on 13/19 shooting from the field while adding three rebounds, five assists, and two steals in just 35 minutes. Holmgren came up huge for Oklahoma City as well, with the former Gonzaga Bulldogs star going off for 26 points on 9/13 shooting from the floor with seven rebounds and a couple of shot rejections on defense.

With a 2-0 series lead, the Thunder will look to inch closer to the second round when they play the visitor in Game 3 against the Pelicans on Saturday.

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