The Los Angeles Clippers acquired Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in the 2018 NBA Draft to be their point guard of the future. In a short amount of Summer League games, Gilgeous-Alexander is showing he should be the starter when the Clippers open camp.
In three Summer League games, Gilgeous-Alexander has averaged 19.7 points, five rebounds, 3.3 assists and two steals. Unfortunately, the Clippers are 1-2. Either way, Gilgeous-Alexander has shown he belongs in the NBA.
Offensively, Gilgeous-Alexander has been able to get great position and get where he wants on the floor. In each game, he has increased his scoring average (13, 21, 25) and has looked more comfortable with his game. Gilgeous-Alexander has showed an impressive offensive arsenal people we did not see at Kentucky.
Here’s his abilities
Here is Gilgeous-Alexander in his second Summer League game sending a defender to the floor:
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander hits the baseline jumper off the discard. pic.twitter.com/ZcvpXreoTk— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) July 9, 2018
Gilgeous-Alexander putting his opponent on skates:
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander putting his man on his heels. pic.twitter.com/wHkNmsn8XU— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) July 10, 2018
And here is Gilgeous-Alexander blowing past the defender and finishing over a player trying to block his shot:
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to the basket and finishing over the big fella. pic.twitter.com/UCiIP5Il3x— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) July 10, 2018
What he can be
At only 19 years old, Gilegous-Alexander does a great job at playing at his pace and controlling the game. His rookie counterpart, Jerome Robinson, has noticed and is impressed.
“He’s really methodical, like just cerebral. You know what I mean?” Robinson said to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. “He’s got like a slow and a fast pace. He’s great at changing pace and the way he plays, being able to create and being able to guard multiple positions. It’s something that you look for in a very versatile guy.”
Gilgeous-Alexander has showed he is a better offensive player than projected Clippers starting point guard Patrick Beverley. He also displayed his tremendous defensive ability.
His offense has been good thus far. Coming into the league, NBA scouts believed Gilgeous-Alexander would excel on the defensive end because of his length and tenacity.
Gilgeous-Alexander being a pest defender leads to an easy two points:
My goodness. This defense by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander leading to the breakaway slam. Lordy. pic.twitter.com/C1v3TxSF8q— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) July 10, 2018
Here he is stripping the ball away and forcing it off the opponent leg as it goes out of bounds:
Fantastic defensive play by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. pic.twitter.com/ZSFnIalDKz— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) July 10, 2018
The upcoming season will most likely be a rebuilding year. They are in a tough Western Conference and do not have the roster to compete with the elite teams. But based off the Clippers last season, head coach Doc Rivers will have his team compete until the end. The Clippers should do that by giving quality minutes to Gilgeous-Alexander.