Oklahoma City Thunder @ San Antonio Spurs
7:30 p.m. Saturday on ESPN
Player to watch: In this case, there’s actually two players to watch, and every human in Oklahoma knows who they are. Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant are both quietly having a spectacular season, with Westbrook averaging career highs in assists, rebounds and field goal percentage. The Thunder have failed to close out game after game, and a lot of that blame falls on these two superstars.
Reason why you should watch: The Thunder and Spurs, both well acquainted with each other, have only played once this season. That game, however, was the first game of the season for both teams, and the Thunder came out on top in a very close contest that finished 106-112. Fast forward to today, and the Spurs and Thunder are on very different trajectories. The Spurs sport the second best record in the league, and still haven’t lost at home. The Thunder, who have lost 9 games this season when leading in the 4th (only the bottom-dwelling Philadelphia 76ers have more), are starting to look like a non factor in the playoffs unless they can correct their crunch-time issues. This game is as important for the Thunder’s psyche as it as for their playoff seeding, which could slip to 4th if the Los Angeles Clippers continue their winning ways.
NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament
March 15 to April 4, on CBS, TBS, TNT and Tru TV
Player to watch: LSU forward Ben Simmons has long been touted the next big thing in the NBA. Most believe his skillset is comparable to NBA star LeBron James, considering his size and his ability to pass and run the floor. While LSU hasn’t been an outstanding team this season, the Australian prodigy will have a chance to showcase his talents on a national level.
Reason why you should watch: Everyone loves March Madness! Even people that hardly watch college basketball during its regular season, like most of my friends for instance, are itching to fill out a bracket for the annual tournament. It’s genuinely one of the best events in sports, with storyline after storyline appearing throughout the tournament. Looking through an Oklahoma lens, the Sooners, led by star guard Buddy Hield, are one of the best teams in the country and are poised to make a run at the title.