The OKC Thunder are closing their road trip with a matchup in Portland. This game represents the third game in four nights and is the second leg of a road-road back-to-back. This young Thunder team will have to learn how to compartmentalize last night’s emotional win over the Golden State Warriors to take care of business against the lowly Trail Blazers.
Given the grueling nature of this schedule, which sees consecutive off days on deck for the OKC Thunder for just the second time this season, it was expected that the Thunder might be a tad shorthanded tonight. However, that does not change the expectations when the ball is tipped.
OKC Thunder will miss Jalen Williams against Portland but still face a must-win game against the Trail Blazers.
On Sunday against Portland, the OKC Thunder will be without Jalen Williams, who is sidelined with a hip injury. Besides Williams, the only other players missing from Oklahoma City are Keyontae Johnson (G League) and Ousmane Dieng (G League).
Despite missing a key piece, an otherwise healthy OKC Thunder team has to take advantage of this golden opportunity to go 3-0 on this road trip. Then, after two off days, beat up on the Chicago Bulls in Bricktown before the schedule gets tougher.
The Portland Trail Blazers are one of the worst teams in the league and are doing very little to hide their intentions this season. The Blazers in this game will be without Malcolm Brogdon, Robert Williams, Scoot Henderson, Ish Wainwright, and Anfernee Simons. Rayan Rupert, Moses Brown, and Kris Murray are also questionable.
When playing a lousy team, who also have an injury report the length of a CVS receipt, the OKC Thunder have to avoid playing down to their competition. Avoid looking ahead to a few days off and take care of business on the road in Portland.