NBA Hoops

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander thinks Thunder should limit P.J. Washington

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander thinks Thunder should limit P.J. Washington

Through three games of their second-round matchup between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Dallas Mavericks, the biggest surprise has been P.J. Washington turning into a supernova scorer.

Washington has been the Mavericks’ second-leading scorer and third-leading total scorer of the series. In Dallas’ wins in games 2 and 3, he scored a combined 56 points and shot 12-of-23 (52.2%) from 3.

The surprising development has swung the last two games to the Mavericks. In the regular season, Washington shot a lowly 32% from 3 on 5.7 attempts.

That type of efficiency meant the Thunder should’ve been comfortable allowing Washington to take as many 3-pointers as he’d like. On paper, it’s a sound strategy because it takes away shots from Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.

But these are the NBA playoffs. Weird stuff tends to happen that nobody could’ve predicted. Washington turning into a hot outside shooter is a variable that has favored the Mavericks.

Before the question could even be asked after their Game 3 loss, Shai Gigeous-Alexander nodded in frustration at Washington’s hot shooting.

“He’s hooping,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “We gotta turn that water off if we want to win the series for sure.”

While there are certainly adjustments to be made with Washington — the Thunder likely should quit conceding the corner spots to him as they have thus far — an overcorrection needs to be avoided.

If the Thunder lose a playoff series because a 32% on six attempts outside shooter turns into a 52% on 12 attempts outside shooter, then so be it. OKC will tip its cap and can enter the offseason knowing sometimes that’s how the cookie crumbles in the postseason.

But if the Thunder lose two more games because they suddenly treat Washington like Stephen Curry, thus resulting in more scoring chances for Doncic and Irving, that will be a case of overreacting to a small sample size.

The Thunder can tweak their defensive strategy against Washington. Letting him shoot so many corner 3-pointers might need to be scrapped. But OKC cannot fall into the hole of overcorrection and allow Dallas’ star duo to get hot.

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at OKC Thunder Wire…