The OKC Thunder have slowly but surely evolved into one of the most exciting teams in basketball. From an occasional surprise win over a competitor to a playoff race in the west, this season has been wonderful.
The Thunder are expected to start their easiest month of the season in February. With just 11 games and a week off mid-month, the Thunder will be looking to gain some ground in the Western Conference rankings. Most importantly, OKC’s schedule features five matchups against teams it’s battling in the play-in race, and each game is against a Western Conference opponent.
Must see games for the OKC Thunder in February
February 7th with the Los Angeles Lakers
These teams meet for the first time this season in LA. This game would be a must because of what happened last season when these teams played. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was spectacular in some early-season matchups, averaging 27.5 points in two Thunder wins. He’s also nailed some memorable deep shots in every game.
Aside from the battle itself, this game could make history. LeBron James is on the verge of overtaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer and will likely have a chance to break him when OKC comes to town. This almost certainly guarantees the second nationally televised game of the season.
While this is sure to be an entertaining game for Thunder fans, it’s likely to have the entire basketball community tuned in as well.
February 10 at the Portland Trail Blazers
The OKC Thunder and Blazers have no shortage of history, most notably a playoff series in 2019 that resulted in OKC blowing up their roster. While this series ended the Thunder era, it spawned a new one led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. SGA has been a nightmare for Portland this season, to say the least.
Gilgeous-Alexander averaged 31 points in two matchups in December as the Thunder went 2-0. An SGA baseline jumper decided the first of those games after time ran out. Portland went into Oklahoma City with a 17-13 record, but the Thunder began a rough patch for the Blazers when they lost 12-of-16. Now both teams go into February 24-26 with a potential postseason duel looming.
February 19: NBA All-Star Game in Utah
The NBA All-Star Game is the league’s annual showdown between the best players it has to offer. OKC fans have had no reason to tune in in recent years. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is set to change that for 2023.
Gilgeous-Alexander is expected to be the Thunder’s first All-Star selection since Chris Paul in 2020. It should be a natural supplement. SGA isn’t short of thrilling moves and badass shooting skills. Although this will be his first All-Star game, don’t be surprised if he makes MVP.
SGA won’t be the only Thunder representative in Utah Josh Giddey and Jalen Williams are taking part in the Rising Stars Game on February 17th.
The biggest snub here is easily the Sacramento Kings. The Kings were the surprise team of the season, and OKC Thunder played an intense game in Sacramento in mid-January. OKC will end the month with two meetings in three nights with the kings at home.
While the matchup isn’t strictly a must, OKC has three games against the Rockets in February. Houston currently has the worst record in the league and shows no signs of improving. So if simple blowout wins are fascinating, these three games are your best bet.