The Oklahoma City Thunder will wrap up the month of December with their typically lengthy home stand capped off with the team's annual New Year's Eve matchup inside the Paycom Center this year against Brooklyn. That home stand starts tonight against the Memphis Grizzlies in a must-win game for the Thunder.
Oklahoma City enters this game 16-8, winning 6 of their last ten games, good enough for the second-best record in the West. Memphis strolls in with a lowly 6-18 record, winning just three of their last ten games and turning in the 13th-best record in the NBA, only ahead of Portland and San Antonio.
OKC Thunder sees a must-win game against the Memphis Grizzlies as the injury report continues to pile up for Memphis.
Memphis will be without Steven Adams (PCL), Brandon Clarke (Achilles), Luke Kennard (Knee), Marcus Smart (Foot), Derrick Rose (Hamstring), and Ja Morant (suspended). The Grizzlies also tab Bismack Biyombo as doubtful due to back soreness.
Meanwhile, the OKC Thunder enter with a fully healthy roster, only listing Keyontae Johnson on the status report as he is with the Oklahoma City Blue in the NBA G League.
This matchup with Memphis starts a five-game stretch that features the L.A. Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves, and New York Knicks before the team hits the road again to take on the Nuggets for a brief one-game roadie.
Given who is coming down the line for Oklahoma City, this is a must-win game for the Thunder to gain a bit of cushion for tougher opponents on deck.
Oklahoma City fans should keep a close eye on Jacob Gilyard, who has played in 18 games and seven starts. Gilyard is the All-Time steals leader at Richmond and, despite his frame, is a pesky defender. With as much as the Thunder cut, drive, and get out and run, Gilyard can disrupt things with his nose for the basketball.
With Desmond Bane and Jaren Jackson Jr, Memphis still has some formidable players, but it should not be enough to get past a healthy Oklahoma City squad.
For complete game coverage, check back to Thunderous Intentions following this must-win contest against the Memphis Grizzlies.