SGA returns for OKC Thunder matchup with Memphis

The Oklahoma City Thunder, fresh off a loss to the Portland Trail Blazers at home, travel to take on the Memphis Grizzlies. When the NBA first announced the schedule for the first half of the 2020-21 NBA season, this game was not included. However, due to cancelations, the NBA was able to add this game to the slate. Both teams are on the second night of a back-to-back and coming off of losses in the first leg.

After this game was thrown together by the NBA a few weeks ago, now, the Thunder are having issues flying to Memphis due to the unforeseen weather in OKC. The team will get to Memphis at roughly 4 p.m. and head straight to the arena to warm up for the 8 p.m. tip…on top of this being night two of a back-to-back! If the Thunder lack energy tonight, it will be understandable, to say the least.

The OKC Thunder will get a boost with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander returning to the lineup. SGA had been sidelined as he rested a lingering knee issue. Mark Daigneault told those of us in the media on Tuesday that SGA was “close” to returning, and making it on the second night of a back-to-back in which Al Horford (rest) is out, is great timing.

The Thunder will still be without George Hill (thumb) as he has yet to be re-evaluated following thumb surgery. Guessing the starting five will be interesting, and this story will be updated with the actual starters when Mark Daigneault announces them. Follow along on Twitter for the instant news around Mark Daigneault’s pregame press conference.

Guessing the lineup I would say: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Theo Maledon, Lu Dort, Darius Bazley, and Isaiah Roby.

For Memphis they will be without De’Anthony Melton, and rookie Desmond Bane for this game against the Thunder.

Seeing how Lu Dort builds on his 20 point night will be interesting. Note, he does not need to score 20+ points to show improvement. It is more showing how he can grow his offensive game even with SGA as the lead-guard next to win.

This story will be updated with quotes from Mark Daigneault and the 4:30 injury report, pregame.

4:30 injury report:

Thunder OUT: George Hill (knee), Al Horford (rest), Aleksej Pokusevski, Ty Jerome, Moses Brown, Josh Hall (G-League assignments), Trevor Ariza (not with the team).

Grizzlies OUT: Desmond Bane, Jaren Jackson Jr., De’Anthony Milton, Jontay Porter, Killian Tillie, Justice Winslow.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is officially available and no longer listed on the Injury Report.

UPDATE:

Mark Daigneault confirmed the starters are Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Lu Dort, Theo Maledon, Darius Bazley, and Isaiah Roby. Mark Daigneault also confirmed the team went straight to the arena after landing in Memphis and began changing and warming up.

For Locked on Thunder listeners: the bet of the game is OKC +7.5, and the money ball pick is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

Rylan Stiles

Rylan Stiles is the host of the Locked on Thunder podcast, a media member with the Thunder and the NBA, and Founder of BricktownBuckets.com.

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