Most anticipated OKC Thunder games of the 2019-2020 season

OKC Thunder former star Russell Westbrook now of the Houston Rockets returns to OKC January 9, 2020 (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder former star Russell Westbrook now of the Houston Rockets returns to OKC January 9, 2020 (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images) /
2 of 9
OKC Thunder
Former OKC Thunder star Russell Westbrook nwoof the Houston Rockets gives James Harden (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The hardest ticket of the year to get:

Russell Westbrook makes his first appearance at Chesapeake Energy Arena in a different jersey. Long time Thunder fans know how odd it felt on November 28, 2012, when James Harden made his first appearance back in OKC donning a Rockets jersey.

Well if that felt weird no doubt January 9, 2020, will pale in comparison. That’s the first time Russell Westbrook will make his first appearance back on the court where he created countless memories for Thunder Nation.

I’m almost getting choked up thinking about how emotional that night will be. Surely, even for a competitor like the Brodie, it will be overwhelming. Knowing this wonderful Thunder fan base I expect the Peake to be rocking. Likewise, when Westbrook is introduced by the PA Announcer I won’t be surprised for a roar to go up and last for what will feel like an eternity.

In the past, the franchise hasn’t played video tributes for returning players, but let’s hope that’s an old custom which will be dispensed of for Westbrook. More than any previous Thunder player the Brodie deserves Sam Presti to abandon that principle and honor the most important player in franchise history.

Last season with Harden getting shadowed by Paul George he still put up major numbers against the Thunder:

Query Results Table
1 29-167 2019-02-09 L 37 28 .393 12 .417 16 .375 15 .933 2 1 1 5 42
2 29-121 2018-12-25 W 39 35 .429 19 .526 16 .313 7 .857 6 7 2 6 41
3 29-226 2019-04-09 @ L 37 28 .393 13 .462 15 .333 13 .923 10 3 1 4 39
4 29-074 2018-11-08 @ L 38 19 .368 7 .429 12 .333 3 .333 8 5 2 5 19

Provided by View Original Table
Generated 8/12/2019.

Harden averaged over 35 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4 assists, 1.5 steals, and 5 turnovers. The Beard averaged 14.7 perimeter attempts and an average of 5 makes in the four contests.

The first game the teams play will occur in Houston on October 28th at 7:30 CT. This night will also feel odd no doubt for Chris Paul who switched teams via this trade, but perhaps a more relevant game for CP3 will be the first time the Thunder travel to Houston and play at the Toyota Center. Oddly the NBA elected to not take advantage of the Westbrook – Thunder matchup and this represents the only time all season the Rockets will play in OKC.

The other games the Thunder will tip off versus the Rockets in Houston occurs on January 20 at 4:00 p.m. CT. 

Last season the OKC Thunder played the Rockets four times:

  • November 8 at home in a win: 98-90
  • December 25 at Houston in a loss: 109-113
  • February 9 at Houston in a win: 117-112
  • April 9 at home in a win: 112-111