OKC Thunder poised to capture home court: week 21 scoreboard watch

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the OKC Thunder drives around Dante Exum #11 of the Utah Jazz (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the OKC Thunder drives around Dante Exum #11 of the Utah Jazz (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz drives past Chris Paul #3 of the OKC Thunder, (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

The OKC Thunder begins week 21 in fifth with 18 games to play and poised to capture a home court seed. TI breaks down critical games of the two – seven seeds.

The tightest race in the NBA is the race for who’ll garner the second through seventh seeds in the West. The OKC Thunder are currently in fifth after a phenomenal statement victory in clutch time in Boston.

They were helped along by the Rockets who lost to the Magic and their small-ball lineup suddenly not looking invincible. Factor in the Mavericks loss and it was a stellar Sunday all round for Thunder Nation.

This week OKC has three games on tap with one very important match on Wednesday as the Utah Jazz comes to Chesapeake. The rest advantage will be on the side of the Thunder as they get two full days of rest while the Jazz plays the Raptors on Monday night.

The other two matches are against lottery teams the Wolves and Wizards on Friday and Sunday respectively.

There are benefits to be reaped and ground to gain as week 21 offers opportunity as the West seeds in the two through seven positions jockey for position.

Even matches not featuring the Thunder play a role in seeding and larger narratives are in play. For example, with the Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo suffering a leg injury that will keep him out at least two games it opens the door for the Lakers to win the overall best record. LA trails the Bucks by three games but only two in the loss column.

Games featuring the eighth seed chase pack take on a ‘sudden death’ component as the Grizzlies put some daylight between themselves and the Kings, Pelicans, Blazers, and Spurs.

Every game the current two – seven West seeds play that feature those above teams will take on a playoff intensity. That’s good news for the OKC Thunder as several of the teams ahead or behind them are scheduled to face these specific clubs.

For the final five weeks of play, Thunderous Intentions will offer a weekly glance at this group. Specifically, we’ll outline the week ahead for each team highlighting critical matches and update the schedule notables.