— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) April 13, 2017
The Oklahoma City Thunder has concluded its regular season with a loss at home to Denver to finish with a record of 47-35, but with no time to dwell on a loss, the team looks forward to its first round matchup against the Houston Rockets. Game 1 has been set for Sunday, April 16, in Houston, where the Thunder will tip-off against the Rockets at 8 PM CT.
The Rockets won the regular season series against the Thunder 3-1, but the first three meetings were decided by 3 or fewer points. Houston excels at shooting the three, but Oklahoma City dominates down low, so Thunder fans should hope for some close and exciting games.
Not only will the matchup of the different styles of play be fun to watch, but the NBA Most Valuable Player race is arguably down to two players: Russell Westbrook and James Harden. Westbrook has easily outplayed Harden across the board in the four games where they have faced one another, but Harden’s teammates have chipped in to push the Rockets to more wins. Westbrook will need to rely on his teammates, and hopefully some of them will step up, answer the call, and deliver some much needed support.
While the Rockets have had the better season as a team, there are some who think the Thunder have a good chance to play underdog upset in the first round. Oklahoma City has played up and down basketball the last few weeks, but in the final few games of the regular season, a lot of younger guys got some extra minutes, and they did well for the most part. If the Thunder want to pull the upset, they will definitely need some guys to step up.
Here is the full schedule for the 1st Round against the Houston Rockets:
- Game 1: OKC @ HOU, Sunday, April 16, 8 PM CT on TNT/FSOK
- Game 2: OKC @ HOU, Wednesday, April 19, 7 PM CT on TNT/FSOK
- Game 3: OKC vs. HOU, Friday, April 21, 8:30 PM CT on ESPN/FSOK
- Game 4: OKC vs. HOU, Sunday, April 23, 2:30 PM CT on ABC
- Game 5*: OKC @ HOU, Tuesday, April 25, TBD
- Game 6*: OKC vs. HOU, Thursday, April 27, TBD
- Game 7*: OKC @ HOU, Saturday, April 29, TBD
Article written by Zack Low. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter and Instagram.