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ANALYSIS: From the surface, it would seem like you would be best advised to steer clear of Mike Muscala: he has largely shot poorly from long-distance this season, he is seeing his lowest volume of floor-time since 2015, and he appears to be securely behind other Oklahoma City big men like Steven Adams, Danilo Gallinari, Nerlens Noel, and Darius Bazley. However, there remains upside in the way that Billy Donovan chooses to use him (Adams and Noel are hardly the same kind of players), and so even injuries to the likes of Andre Roberson, Abdel Nader, and Terrance Ferguson can result in greater playing time for Muscala.
To start off the month of January, Muscala has already been averaging season-best figures with 6.8 points and 3.3 rebounds in 16.9 minutes per game, with a 3.5% bump in usage rate and a combined offensive and defensive rating of 225. He has also recovered from a miserable month of December with a 34.2% success rate from beyond the arc and a season-high true shooting percentage of .570. While the final product may seem to be moderate or inconsistent, the increase in opportunity and the uptick in efficiency is a fantastic start to 2020, and particularly if the Thunder see any more additions to the injury report, that could quickly turn into an extended wave of momentum for a player as versatile as Muscala.
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