Must-watch games for OKC Thunder fans in February

OKC Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) celebrates with his team after hitting the game winning shot against the Blazers: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
OKC Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) celebrates with his team after hitting the game winning shot against the Blazers: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports /

The OKC Thunder have slowly but surely become one of basketball’s most exciting teams. From having an occasional surprise win over a contender to being in the middle of a playoff race out west, this season has been delightful.

The Thunder are set to embark on what looks like their easiest month of the season in February. With only 11 games and a week off halfway through the month, the Thunder will look to gain some ground in the western conference standings. Most importantly, OKC’s schedule features five matchups against teams it is fighting against in the play-in race, and every game is against a western conference foe.

Must watch games for the OKC Thunder in the month of February

February 7 at Los Angeles Lakers

These teams will match up for the first time this season in LA. This game would be must-watch material because of what happened last season when these teams played. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was spectacular in a couple of early-season matchups averaging 27.5 points in two Thunder wins. He also nailed some memorable deep shots in each game.

Aside from the battle itself, this game could see history. LeBron James is on the verge of passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer and will likely have a shot at breaking it when OKC comes to town. This almost certainly guarantees the Thunder’s second nationally televised game of the season.

While this is sure to be a fun game for Thunder fans, the entire basketball community is likely to be tuned in as well.

February 10 at Portland Trail Blazers

The OKC Thunder and Blazers have no shortage of history, most notably a playoff series in 2019 that caused OKC to blow up its roster. While that series killed the Thunder era, it gave birth to a new one led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. To say the least, SGA has been a nightmare for Portland this season.

Gilgeous-Alexander averaged 31 points in two December matchups as the Thunder went 2-0. An SGA baseline jumper decided the first of those games as time expired. Portland entered Oklahoma City with a 17-13 record, but the Thunder started a rough patch for the Blazers as they lost 12 of 16. Now both teams enter February at 24-26 with a potential postseason matchup looming.

February 19: NBA All-Star Game in Utah

The NBA All-Star game is the league’s annual exhibition between the best players it has to offer. OKC fans have had no reason to tune in for the last couple of 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. He should be a natural fit. SGA has no shortage of exciting moves and tough shot-making abilities. Although this will be his first all-star game, don’t be surprised if he makes a run at the MVP.

SGA won’t be the only Thunder representation in Utah, with Josh Giddey and Jalen Williams participating in the rising stars game on February 17.

Honorable Mentions

The biggest snub here is easily the Sacramento Kings. The Kings have been the season’s surprise team, and OKC Thunder played an intense game in Sacramento in mid-January. OKC will finish the month with two meetings in three nights with the Kings at home.

While the matchup does not particularly scream must-watch, OKC has three games against the Rockets in February. Houston currently has the worst record in the league, and it is showing no signs of improvement. So, if easy blowout victories are intriguing, these three games are the best bet.

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