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Billy Donovan on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: 'I'm happy he struggled'

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander turned in one of his worst offensive performances of the season Friday night against the Pelicans. 

Gilgeous-Alexander scored a season-low 10 points. The second-year guard made just 4-of-13 attempts and turned the ball over four times. 

“I don’t mean this the way it’s gonna come across,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. “I’m happy he struggled.” 

Gilgeous-Alexander is shooting just 37 percent from the field and 1-of-8 from 3-point range in his last three games. He was limited to 12 or fewer points in each of those games. 

After a scorching start to the season, Donovan now has the chance to see how his 21-year-old guard will recover from a slump. 

“There are people that have what I call surface confidence, and deep confidence,” Donovan said. “And I think when you go through struggles, you find out what kind of confidence you have in yourself. Are you confident because you make shots? To me that would be just on the surface because shots are gonna come and go.”

Related Photos
Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan speaks with Nerlens Noel, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Chris Paul during a timeout in an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the New Orleans Pelicans at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019. Oklahoma City won 115-104. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan speaks with Nerlens Noel, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Chris Paul during a timeout in an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the New Orleans Pelicans at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019. Oklahoma City won...

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-f0ff58f5ab04c799d81b62287376ff90.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan speaks with Nerlens Noel, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Chris Paul during a timeout in an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the New Orleans Pelicans at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019. Oklahoma City won 115-104. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title="Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan speaks with Nerlens Noel, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Chris Paul during a timeout in an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the New Orleans Pelicans at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019. Oklahoma City won 115-104. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan speaks with Nerlens Noel, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Chris Paul during a timeout in an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the New Orleans Pelicans at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019. Oklahoma City won 115-104. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure>
Joe Mussatto

Joe Mussatto joined The Oklahoman in August 2018 to cover OU football, men’s basketball and softball. He previously covered University of Kentucky football and basketball for SEC Country. Mussatto is from Oklahoma City and lives in Norman. Read more ›

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