For the second game in a row, the Golden State Warriors will face an exciting up-and-coming team that will be playing without their All-Star point guard. Two days after sneaking by a Sacramento Kings team that was missing De’Aaron Fox, the Dubs will head to the South to face the Oklahoma City Thunder, who will be without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Gilgeous-Alexander suffered a left knee sprain during the Thunder’s loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday, and on Thursday he was officially ruled out for the first of three matchups between these two teams .... and their first in-season tournament game.
It’s a break for the Warriors, as SGA has quickly emerged as one of the best players in the NBA. Last year, in his fifth NBA season, Gilgeous-Alexander averaged 31.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game, while making both the All-Star and All-NBA teams for the first time in his career.
OKC is not lacking for fun players who could make things difficult for Golden State, though. In addition to exciting youngsters like Josh Giddey and Jalen Williams, the Thunder also have rookie Chet Holmgren, who has made his long-awaited debut this year after missing the entire 2022-23 season following being drafted No. 2 overall. Holmgren, a three-point shooting and shot-blocking menace, can best be described as Brook Lopez with five times as much athleticism.
Assuming Gilgeous-Alexander’s injury isn’t serious, the Warriors will get to face a healthy Thunder team soon: the teams match up again on November 16 and 18.