Must-watch OKC Thunder games in March

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The Oklahoma City Thunder are in the hunt for a postseason appearance in a tight western conference. How the team performs in March will likely determine its fate. The OKC Thunder flirted with a .500 record on a few different occasions in January and February and will again if they can string a few wins together this month. OKC has plenty of intriguing matchups coming up, but these are the games you can’t miss.

Must-watch games for the OKC Thunder in March

March 11 at New Orleans Pelicans

The Thunder will head into New Orleans looking to avoid being swept by the Pelicans this season. Despite holding an 0-3 record against the Pelicans this season, the Thunder have no reason to be afraid. The teams’ three earlier matchups were determined by only 10 points, including an overtime game in OKC.

Pelicans star Brandon Ingram dominated the last matchup by scoring 34 points in OKC. But the Thunder have star power too. OKC’s most recent all-star selection Shai Gilgeous-Alexander set his career-high with 44 points against the Pelicans in December.

Besides the close matchups and superstars for each team, this game will likely have postseason implications as both teams are firmly in the play-in race entering the season’s final few weeks.

March 16 at Toronto Raptors

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander makes his annual return to Canada as the Thunder face another team looking to force its way into the postseason. Raptors fans have salivated over the thought of SGA putting on a Raptors jersey in the future and will likely do their best to recruit him. As Toronto’s fanbase overanalyzes any interaction Shai has with Pascal Siakam, maybe Thunder fans should too.

OKC has plenty of assets to make a big move this offseason, and Pascal Siakam may be precisely what GM Sam Presti is looking for. Putting the off-court antics aside, the basketball should be great. Both teams are desperate to get wins near the end of the season, and the Thunder typically have success in Toronto, winning their past six games there.

March 19 vs Phoenix Suns

Assuming all of Phoenix’s stars play, it could be a glimpse into OKC’s future if everything goes according to plan. The Suns will enter Paycom Center with former Thunder star Kevin Durant leading the way. Brooklyn traded Durant at the trade deadline so he could compete for a championship with Phoenix’s star backcourt of Chris Paul and Devin Booker.

Durant’s games against the OKC Thunder no longer hold the same weight as when he played in Golden State, but the energy in the arena is always heightened. Considering how much the Thunder’s young group feeds off the crowd, this could be a perfect storm for an upset. If the Thunder are going to make that happen, Gilgeous-Alexander will have to be the best player on the court, as he has been so many times this season.

Honorable Mentions

The honorable mentions section for this month goes to the three-game stretch that could solidify whether OKC pushes for the play-in or ping-pong balls. From March 21-24, the Thunder will play three games in Los Angeles. The first two will be against the Clippers with former Thunder duo Paul George and Russell Westbrook. The third is against a desperate Lakers team that is unlikely to have LeBron James on the floor.

If Thunder can get through those three games and a night in Portland, they have a couple of games in OKC to boost their postseason chances. Games against the Charlotte Hornets and Detroit Pistons will probably give Thunder fans a chance to relax after a stressful month of games against other teams jockeying for playoff positioning.

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