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) /
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OKC Thunder
OKC Thunder trade of Paul George. LAC intro with Doc Rivers, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard and owner Steve Ballmer (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

The man who ignited the  R and R era:

Unlike the previous game with the Brodie back in town, this return could be marked by cheers and jeers. That’s because Paul George will make his first appearance back in Oklahoma City since giving Sam Presti all of 48 hours to trade him to the Clippers.

Notably, this could be a mixed bag since on one hand the Thunder are set for the next seven drafts mostly because of George’s trade request. Additionally, the Thunder seemingly has their next cornerstone player in hand with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander who we’ve learned was a key component in Presti pulling the plug. And, with Danilo Gallinari thrown in for good measure, he could end up being another key asset who’ll bring back numerous picks or more youthful assets when all is said and done.

On the other hand, George’s demand forced the franchise to expedite his trade which meant the loss of Jerami Grant and our franchise star Russell Westbrook. We’ll forever wonder if the team had run it back with a healthy PG and Andre Roberson this season whether the Thunder would’ve been in the mix as title contenders.

Truth behind Paul George trade: 48 hour time limit and one draft pick tipped the scales. light. Related Story

The fan base will have to wait a few months to see Paul George and since he’s returning from injury there is no guarantee he’ll be healthy when he returns to Chesapeake on December 22, with the game at 6:00 p.m. CT. Unlike Westbrook, Geoge will play twice this season in OKC.

The last time Paul George played in front of the Thunder it was in a 98-111 point loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. In that match, PG posted a stat line of 32 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, a steal, a block and connected on 4 of 10 perimeter shots.

Although Kawhi Leonard missed 22 games last season he played in both games versus the OKC Thunder which the team split with the Raptors.

Query Results Table
1 2019-03-22 L 36 23 .522 18 .444 5 .800 10 .900 4 6 4 2 37
2 2019-03-20 @ W 42 19 .421 13 .462 6 .333 5 .800 7 10 6 2 22

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

Leonard averaged 29.5 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals while connecting on 56.6 percent from the perimeter (although he was much more successful in the win connecting on 80 percent).

Obviously, this date will also be a key game for Gilgeous-Alexander and Gallinari who’ll be facing their former team for the first time on his new home court. In all the teams will meet four times with the other three games as follows:

  • November 18, 7:30 p.m. CT at Staples
  • March 3, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. CT at Chesapeake
  • April 4, 12:30 p.m. CT at Staples

Last season the clubs played four times with the following results:

  • October 19 on the road in a loss: 92-108
  • October 30 at home in a win: 128-110
  • December 15 at home in a win: 110-104
  • March 8 on the road in a loss: 110-118