Rookie Josh Giddey from the Oklahoma City Thunder has been turning heads, especially when the teenage Australian became the youngest player in NBA history to post a back-to-back triple-double at just 19-years old.
The Thunder (18-39) are the second-worst team in the Western Conference, but they have the second-best betting team in the NBA with 35-19-3 ATS record. The Thunder struggled to win games this season because they have a young and inexperienced roster. Yes, they’re bad but not as bad as the public thinks, which is why Thunder backers turned a profit this season for their propensity to beat the spread.
The low-fi Thunder average 101.1 ppg as the lowest-scoring team in the league. They have mid-tier defense ranked #13 in the league allowing 107.7 ppg. They don’t score enough points to win games, but they score enough to beat the spread.
Since mid-December, the Thunder went 20-9-2 ATS. The Thunder are 6-2-1 ATS over their last nine games, even though they were 4-5 in that stretch.
Giddey: Thunder from Down Under
Rookies Tre Mann and Giddey has made the Thunder fun to watch this season for hoop fans in Oklahoma City. The Thunder took a flier on Giddey — the rookie from Melbourne, Australia — with the sixth pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. At the time, a lot of teams poked fun at the Thunder for picking am untested 6-foot-8 swingman from Australia so high in the draft. A lot of scouts felt he was second-round material, but the Thunder are the ones getting the last laugh.
Giddey averages 12.3 points per game, but he’s a strong all-around player that averages 7.7 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game. His 3-point shot still needs work, but if he was more consistent, he could average in the high teens. If he was a little more selfish, he could probably average 20-plus a night, but he likes to get his teammates involved in the flow of the game.
“The style he is playing with is contagious,” said Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault. “He has a domino effect on the team with how he plays when he is in that state of mind.”
In early January, Giddey set an NBA record when he became the youngest player to record a triple-double. It was the first of his career when he tallied 17 points, 14 assists, and 13 rebounds against the Dallas Mavs.
Despite the recent surge, Giddey is a long shot at +1600 odds to win the 2022 NBA Rookie of the Year. He’s fifth on the betting board, but will not be able to catch Evan Mobley from the Cleveland Cavs. Mobley is a huge favorite at -475 odds to win ROY.
Giddey: Youngest B2B Triple-Double
Over the weekend, Giddey notched the second triple-double of his career. He scored 11 points but added 12 rebounds and 10 assists in a loss against the Chicago Bulls.
On Monday night, Giddey did not disappoint anyone in is Madison Square Garden debut against the New York Knicks. It’s called the Mecca of Basketball for a reason with its deep-rooted history and electric feel, which did not go unnoticed by Giddey.
“This was the place I was most excited when I got drafted to come in to play,” said Giddey. “You hear so many things, so many stories about the Garden, and I had circled it on my calendar for a long time. It was everything I expected. The fans are awesome. They’re into the game. A packed house. It’s everything I’ve seen on TV, being told about.”
Giddey led the Thunder to an overtime victory against the Knicks to help the Thunder end a five-game skid. He scored a career-high 28 points, but dished 12 assists, and added 11 rebounds for his third triple-double of his young career.
Giddey eclipsed Luka Doncic as the youngest player in NBA history with back-to-back triple doubles. In 2019, Doncic was 20-years old when he edged out Magic Johnson as the youngest player with back-to-back triple doubles. Magic held the record, which he initially set in 1980 during his rookie campaign with the budding Showtime Lakers.
Giddey also became the third player in Madison Square Garden history to notch a triple-double in his MSG debut, and he joined elite company with Magic and Chuck Person.