The 2021-2022 NBA Season is guaranteed to be one with some amazing basketball being played, with so many storylines and questions for many teams. For the Thunder, has Shai Gilgeous Alexander hit his ceiling? Was Josh Giddey the correct pick? Is Luguentz Dort an All NBA defender? Those questions will all be answered in 82 games this season for the Thunder. These are the five biggest games for the Thunder this year in my opinion.
#5- Thursday, October 20th, Vs The Utah Jazz.
This game had to make the top five simply because it’s the regular season opener for the Thunder. It will definitely be a tall task to ask the Thunder to come out of this game with a win, they will have to hold off Donovan Mitchell who for his career has averaged 23.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.8 assist in 12 games vs the Thunder. For the Thunder, it will be Derrick Favors first game back in Utah since being traded to the Thunder.
#4- Sunday, November 4th, Vs The Brooklyn Nets.
This will be Kevin Durant’s 11th game against the Thunder since leaving for the Golden State Warriors, he has averaged 31.9 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 3.0 assist. The Thunder would have to execute a near perfect game to pull off the upset. Look for Shai Gilgeous Alexander to have a stellar game in this one, as he usually plays up to his competition, and the competition in this one is definitely elite.
#3- Friday, November 19th, @ The Milwaukee Bucks.
Anytime you play the defending champions it should be considered a “big game”. With the Thunder’s lack of size it shouldn’t be a surprise to see Giannis Antetokounmpo have a big game. He has averaged 22.3 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 4.5 assists in his 15 games against the Thunder.
#2- Monday, November 1st, @ The Los Angeles Clippers.
The Thunder and Clippers have had some pretty exciting games in the past, in this one OKC will travel to face former Thunder player Paul George as he attempts to lead the Clippers without Kawhi Leonard who will miss some if not all of the season this year. For his career George has averaged 18.7 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 3.3 assists in his 15 games against the Thunder. Shai Gilgeous Alexander will most likely be looking to make a statement against his former team, and make them pay for trading him.
#1- Wednesday, October 27th, Vs The Los Angeles Lakers.
This should be a fun one, as the Thunder welcome Russell Westbrook back to OKC with the Lakers, and their old friend (sarcasm, of course.) Lebron James. For his career Westbrook has averaged 27.4 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 10.8 assists in his five games against the Thunder. Meanwhile James has averaged 28.0 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 7.5 assists in his astonishing 33 games against the Thunder. It will be interesting to see how LA is welcomed in the Paycom Center, has the Westbrook nostalgia worn off? How will the new look Lakers perform? This is probably the game I look forward to the most, hence it being the number one game on this list.
Sound off on Twitter @Thunder_ATB and let me know what game you are looking forward to the most. Thunder Up!