Amidst the longest losing streak of their entire season, the Oklahoma City Thunder have a light at the end of the tunnel this week. With four games on the slate, three are against teams below .500, including one in which the Thunder could be the favorite.
On top of the easier schedule, Oklahoma City could get positive injury news this week. Aleksej Pokusevski left Saturday night’s game with arm soreness, but doesn’t look to be too serious and could return to action. Additionally, superstar franchise cornerstone Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is set to be re-evaluated for his plantar fasciitis in mid-April, which could be this week.
Tuesday, April 13: at Utah Jazz (40-13)
The Utah Jazz, although they’ve cooled off of late, have the best record in the NBA. Couple that with the fact that the Thunder are traveling to play them at home will only make things tougher, as the Jazz are 24-2 at home this season.
Wednesday, April 14: vs Golden State Warriors (25-28)
The Golden State Warriors have had yet another disappointing season filled with devastating injuries. On Saturday night against the Rockets, rookie James Wiseman went down with a right knee injury that’s been diagnosed as meniscus related and could sideline him for the remainder of the season. Nonetheless, nothing will come easy for the Thunder on Wednesday night as long as superstar guard Steph Curry is in the lineup.
Friday, April 16: at Detroit Pistons (25-28)
Former Thunder fan favorites Jerami Grant and Hamidou Diallo will face their old team on Friday night as members of the Detroit Pistons. With the Pistons having a record worse than the Thunder, this could be a rare game in which Oklahoma City is favored to win.
Sunday, April 18: at Toronto Raptors (25-28)
Things have gone poorly for the Toronto Raptors this season, but newly acquired Gary Trent Jr. has been a diamond in the rough. While this game may not feature many superstar names, watching Lu Dort attempt to lock Trent Jr. down will be fascinating.
When looking at the schedule this week, it’s one of the easier stretches the Thunder have had all season. The results of these games will continue to influence where their 2021 NBA Draft pick falls, as they currently hold the seventh best odds in the lottery.