The 2022-23 schedule for all 30 NBA teams has finally been released, and it allows fans the opportunity to start marking their calendars and planning around the can’t miss games on the schedule. While not every team shares the same goals for the 2022-23 season, they all have games where fans will be circling dates and trying to make sure they’re in the building for or at least able to watch on TV, and here we are going to highlight five such games for each team.
Here, we will dive into the Oklahoma City Thunder as the club’s rebuild continues. There are signs that the Thunder may be starting to turn the corner in terms of on-court success this season after yet another influx of talent. At the top of the pecking order is No. 2 pick Chet Holmgren, with a pair of lottery picks in Jalen Williams and Ousmane Dieng alongside him. Oklahoma City still has a roster crunch, as evidenced by letting Isaiah Roby go, but the Thunder are putting the pieces together around Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey. Oklahoma City may not have a playoff push in the cards this season, but the Thunder project to be a riveting viewing experience, and Holmgren’s debut campaign is appealing on its own.
Below is a look at five marquee matchups for Oklahoma City this season.
October 19, 2022: at Minnesota Timberwolves (8:00 p.m. ET)
The season opener wouldn’t be included for every team in the NBA, but this is a fascinating spot for Oklahoma City. Minnesota underwent a facelift with the addition of Rudy Gobert, and expectations are sky-high for the Wolves as a result. The Thunder enter to more modest fanfare, but this is a chance, at full strength, to try to play spoiler. Also, it is Chet Holmgren facing off against a “twin towers” frontcourt of Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns right out of the gate, along with a fun matchup of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander against Anthony Edwards in the backcourt.
November 1, 2022: vs. Orlando Magic (TNT, 7:30 p.m ET)
This is perhaps the most anticipated game of the season for Oklahoma City. For one, it’s a national television game, and that isn’t the norm for the Thunder. From there, Chet Holmgren faces Paolo Banchero in a battle between the top two picks in the 2022 NBA Draft. Orlando has other intriguing talent, but that individual battle is enough to include this game on its own.
November 7, 2022: at Detroit Pistons (7:30 p.m. ET)
The Thunder and Pistons play again in March, but this is the safer bet to get all of the talent on the floor. Oklahoma City picked No. 11 and No. 12 in the draft, passing on Jalen Duren twice, and he is in Detroit. Oh, and this game also features Holmgren, Gilgeous-Alexander, Cade Cunningham, and Jaden Ivey. That sounds like fun.
November 13, 2022: at New York Knicks (12:00 p.m. ET)
This list is, admittedly, quite heavy on early games, and that is the price for Oklahoma City after multiple seasons in which the Thunder shut almost the entire roster down before the stretch run. Alas, this game presents the appeal of Madison Square Garden and a standalone window. Thunder-Knicks is the only game before 6:00 p.m. ET on this Sunday afternoon, and Oklahoma City’s young guns get a glimpse of life at the world’s most famous arena.
November 26, 2022: at Houston Rockets (NBA TV, 8:00 p.m. ET)
Like the matchup against Orlando, this one is headlined by top draft picks. Holmgren, Jalen Williams, and company face Jabari Smith Jr., Jalen Green, and a talented Rockets squad. Holmgren against Smith Jr. was an appetizing face-off at the Las Vegas Summer League, and that remains the case now.