The Denver Nuggets were able to push their undefeated start to the 2023-24 NBA season to three games on Sunday afternoon after they pummeled the Oklahoma City Thunder 128-95. Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander shared some candid thoughts on the reigning champions after the game, explaining that they’re the real deal.
“They’re the defending champs, and they’re not that by a fluke,” Gilgeous-Alexander said via the Oklahoma City Thunder’s YouTube page. “They play the right way on both ends of the floor and they’re a really good basketball team. They came to play tonight and we weren’t good enough to compete against them.”
Denver made things extremely difficult for the Canadian star on Sunday. Gilgeous-Alexander finished the game with just seven points on a rough 2-of-16 shooting performance in OKC’s home opener.
When asked what the Thunder should do to fare better in their next meeting with the Nuggets, he didn’t have much of an answer and pointed to film study as his only thought at the moment.
The Denver Nuggets have proven that their title run was anything but flukey
Gilgeous-Alexander was sure to point out that the Nuggets’ 2023 NBA championship run was anything but a fluke. For whatever reason, many fans across the league felt that they had captured lightning in a bottle and wouldn’t be able to carry the success over into this season.
Instead, the Nuggets have gotten off to a dominant start and look to have their sights set on a repeat.
So far this season, they’ve beaten OKC, as well as the Los Angeles Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies — two of the Western Conference’s top contenders from last season. Of course, Memphis was without the suspended Ja Morant, but the Lakers and Thunder are two teams who had been generating a ton of buzz heading into the new campaign.
L.A. spent the entire summer voicing how hurt they were by the Nuggets’ jabs at them, following a sweep in the Western Conference Finals. Denver handled that by downing them by double digits in the season opener.
The Thunder have been one of the teams that media members have been most excited about. Behind Gilgeous-Alexander, OKC’s young core seems as if it may be ready to take a jump this year — maybe just not against Denver.
The Nuggets are back in action on Monday night when they’ll host the Utah Jazz. That game will tip off at 7 p.m. MT.