Must-watch games for OKC Thunder fans in April

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

A postseason appearance may be around the corner for the OKC Thunder—the Thunder head into April with a 38-40 record in a tight western conference. OKC’s play-in hopes will come down to the final four games of the regular season. With so few games left, here is the case for watching every Thunder game for the rest of the season.

Despite the disappointing loss to the Indiana Pacers, and the feelings headed into the final month of the season, there are still important games ahead for the OKC Thunder.

Must-watch games for the OKC Thunder in April

April 2 vs Phoenix Suns

After missing multiple games against the Thunder due to injury, superstar Kevin Durant is set to face his former team for the first time this season. The Thunder beat the Suns in Paycom Center in mid-march in a thrilling comeback. OKC will have a chance to replicate the result in this game.

For both teams, the availability of star players will determine who wins the game. OKC Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been dealing with injuries throughout the past few weeks and has missed some time. If he is good to go for the last few games, OKC’s chances of making the playoffs improve tremendously. In his previous game against Phoenix, SGA scored 40 points. The Thunder needed all his points then and likely need another performance like that in this game.

April 4 at Golden State Warriors

The OKC Thunder have not beaten the Warriors on the road since November 2019. However, the Thunder got the best of the Warriors in OKC in early March. With the season winding down and both teams in the thick of the playoff race, this game will likely have a postseason atmosphere at Chase Center.

The Warriors have had one of the strangest seasons in recent NBA history. Golden State has been dominant at home but unable to find much success on the road. If the Thunder want to make a statement heading into the play-in, this is their best chance.

April 6 at Utah Jazz

A couple of the NBA’s surprise teams match up here late in the season. Utah shipped off a few key players at the trade deadline but has stayed in the play-in race. However, Utah could be knocked out by the time this game comes around.

If the Jazz are out of the race, it is possible they would rest their top players against the Thunder. OKC has a great opportunity to get more reps and get its postseason rotation in order if this is the case. There is no need to fully count out the Jazz with the tight standings, so this game could still have substantial postseason implications with a potential multi-team tiebreaker at stake.

April 9 vs Memphis Grizzlies

Like every team in the league, the Thunder play their final game of the regular season on April 9. This could be the day when the Thunder’s rebuild officially enters a new stage, as they may be able to secure a postseason spot. Based on what happens in the few games before, how this game looks could differ drastically.

If Memphis is locked into the second seed, which seems likely, it will almost certainly put a rotation of exclusively backups on the floor in Oklahoma City. As the Thunder have recently found out after splitting close games against Charlotte and Detroit, no game is easy. The Grizzlies are accustomed to playing shorthanded, and the players they put on the floor will be fighting for potential playoff minutes. While this should be a fun day for the Thunder and their fans, Memphis will not just give this one away.

Beyond the regular season

Every game will be a must-watch if the Thunder make it back to the postseason. While this is a historically young team, they could still make some significant noise in the playoffs. Even if it may be more likely for OKC to miss the playoffs or postseason entirely, the possibility of it doing more is a reason for excitement.

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