The stretch OKC Thunder fans should be most excited about in 2023-24

Josh Giddey #3 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Josh Giddey #3 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Excitement is in the air following the release of the 2023-24 regular season schedule for the OKC Thunder.

While the true OKC Thunder diehards would undoubtedly argue that all 82 games are exciting, some make your eyes light up more than others. Of course, there are plenty of exciting and intriguing stretches through the season, but one stands above the rest.

What stretch of the OKC Thunder slate should fans be the most excited about?

Next season, the OKC Thunder have a thrilling slate of games in between the In-Season Tournament and Christmas. The six-game stretch includes games against six western conference teams, including five teams that made the playoffs in 2023.

Beginning on Dec. 11 in OKC, the OKC Thunder take on the lone non-playoff team in the stretch, the Utah Jazz. The Jazz improved this offseason after surprising teams, especially early last season.

Utah acquired John Collins for practically nothing from Atlanta and made promising picks in the NBA Draft. With those moves, this game should be a fun first matchup between two teams vying for potential play-in positioning.

The OKC Thunder then head west for a couple of games. The first stop is in Sacramento against last season’s other surprise team on Dec. 14.

De’Aaron Fox and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will make for an exciting matchup between two first-time all-stars from last season. The Kings are also led by former Thunder player Domantas Sabonis, battling Chet Holmgren down low most of the night.

Holmgren will have his work cut out for him down low in the next game, as the OKC Thunder visits Nikola Jokic’s Denver Nuggets. Dec. 16 will mark OKC’s first game in Denver since the Nuggets won their first NBA title in June.

As if playing the defending champs wasn’t hard enough, the Nuggets posted the second-best home record in the league last season at 34-7. Although this matchup screams scheduled loss for the Thunder, this could be a milestone game if they manage a victory.

The OKC Thunder returns home for the final three games before Christmas, starting the home stand with the Memphis Grizzlies on Dec. 18. OKC Thunder fan favorite Steven Adams will return to town. Still, there’s a slim chance his return will be overshadowed by another.

Grizzlies star guard Ja Morant is suspended for the first 25 games of the season, and this game would be the Grizzlies’ 25th. However, if the Grizzlies can make a run to the championship game in the In-Season Tournament, that would mark Morant’s 25th game. That would clear the way for him to play his first game in Oklahoma City and maybe gift the Thunder another national TV appearance.

The returns continue on Dec. 21 as former OKC Thunder stars Russell Westbrook and Paul George lead the LA Clippers to OKC. Well, hopefully. This game will be the second night of a back-to-back for the Clippers, so the status of George and Kawhi Leonard is still being determined.

On the other hand, Westbrook should be a safe bet to play if he’s healthy. The 2017 MVP has played in all four of his returns to OKC, so he should be ready to match up against Gilgeous-Alexander as both play their former teams.

The other LA team finishes off the OKC Thunder’s stretch. LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the Lakers make their final trip to Oklahoma City of the season on Dec. 23.

The OKC Thunder are forever linked with James as he won his first championship against them and broke the all-time scoring record against them over a decade later. While history likely won’t be made in this game, the teams have played some thrilling matchups over the past few seasons.

The most thrilling stretch in the schedule for the OKC Thunder:

  • December 11 vs. Utah Jazz
  • December 14 @ Sacramento Kings
  • December 16 @ Denver Nuggets
  • December 18 vs. Memphis Grizzlies
  • December 21 vs. Los Angeles Clippers
  • December 23 vs. Los Angeles Lakers

The OKC Thunder have had plenty of exciting games against these teams in recent years. With so many of these matchups at home, it may also be the perfect time for OKC Thunder fans to see their team live.

Next. OKC Thunder full 82 game schedule for the 2023-24 season. dark