Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will miss game vs Spurs

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 prepare for their second back-to-back set of the week on Sunday night. After taking care of business against the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday, the Thunder jet down to San Antonio to take on the tanking Spurs. OKC will be without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in this game.

As Mark Daigneault explained in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s first game back, the OKC Thunder must manage their star point guard. Of course, when dealing with an Abdominal strain, the best thing for it is rest, but the Thunder do not have the luxury of extended rest this late in the season in a playoff chase.

The Oklahoma City Thunder will be without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on the second night of a back-to-back.

As Mark Daigneault told the media, if this were October, Gilgeous-Alexander would not be playing any games right now. But, since the Thunder are up against season’s end, they are just managing him on back-to-backs—a common practice in the NBA.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will rest against the San Antonio Spurs, fresh off a 35-point outing on 47 percent shooting from the floor, with six rebounds, two assists, four steals, and a block last night.

The Oklahoma City Thunder will also be without Chet Holmgren (season-ending surgery), Kenrich Williams (season-ending surgery), and Aleksej Pokusevski (leg).

The San Antonio Spurs list Keldon Johnson and Jeremy Sochan as questionable, two of their best players on the rest. That game-time decision will be massive later tonight. The Spurs will be without Khem Birch and Dominick Barlow.

This game will be vital for the OKC Thunder in the jumbled-up standings. The Thunder are half a game out of the play-in tournament, just a game and a half out of the seventh seed, and two and a half games away from the 6th seed, avoiding the play-in format altogether.

Conversely, OKC is just a game and a half away from the sixth-best odds in the NBA Draft Lottery. So stacking a win here, or losing momentum with a loss here to the Spurs, will dramatically change the race for the Thunder.

OKC has just 15 games remaining this season and two back-to-back sets. It will be interesting to see how this year ends for the Thunder. This is a must-win contest through the lens of a play-in chase.

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