Thunder’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander reveals true feelings on MVP race

One of the most contested MVP races in years.

With a win over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday afternoon, star point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the Oklahoma City Thunder officially locked up the number one seed in the Western Conference by winning their 57th game and will now get a week off before hosting Game 1 of their playoff series–opponent yet to be determined–on Sunday, April 21st. This season for Gilgeous-Alexander has been one of the most impressive in NBA history from a sheer numbers perspective and was a large part of the reason why the Thunder blew away expectations by not only making the playoffs but securing the number one seed in the entire conference, and number two in the NBA.
Gilgeous-Alexander’s brilliance this season has stirred up some calls that an MVP award should be on the Canadian sensation’s horizon, despite the current betting favorite being Denver Nuggets two-time MVP Nikola Jokic.

After the win on Sunday, Gilgeous-Alexander himself weighed in on the intense debate.

“I hope I get it, yes. I think all the guys are deserving. All have a good case. Whoever gets it deserves it for sure,” said Gilgeous-Alexander, per Brandon Rahbar of Daily Thunder on X, the social media platform formerly referred to as Twitter.

Joining Gilgeous-Alexander and Jokic in the MVP race is Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, who did not play on Sunday as his team had already had their playoff positioning locked into place.

Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault also gave his thoughts on the award discussion.

“I have great respect for everybody. I’m not a voter,” said Daigneault, per Nick Crain of Forbes on X. “I don’t study all of the players. I do see one of them every single night. There is not a night where I don’t feel like we have the best player on the floor. We’re a top five defense, top five offense. He’s a two-end player that contributes to both of those things. I think his consistency, his poise, his confidence, has had an unbelievable contagious effect on one of the youngest teams in the league, one of the youngest teams in history.”

How far can the Thunder go?

Despite all of the success, Thunder fans should prepare themselves for some national disrespect until they prove it in the playoffs. There’s a real chance that should the Thunder be matched up with a team like the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the playoffs, which is a real possibility depending on how the Play-In tournament shakes out, that Oklahoma City would be the Las Vegas underdogs despite being the number one seed.

However, it should also be noted that no one coming into the season expected the Thunder to win nearly as many games as they did, or for Gilgeous-Alexander to ascend to best player on a contending team status so quickly.

In any case, the Thunder will now have a full seven days off before taking the floor at home next Sunday for Game 1 of their matchup, whoever that may be.