Here are a few quotes from the official press release, with my reactions interspersed:
Weekends will be busy in the Ford Center this season as 22 of the 41 Thunder games will be played on Friday, Saturday or Sunday nights. [...] Throughout the entire season, there are only six weekends without at least one home game, not including the All Star Break. In addition, there are 18 weekend road games, which will be broadcast live.
This is good news and should help keep attendance high, even with the economy the way it is. All of the Thunder's home games will be played at 7pm Central Time (very consistent, I must say), except Sunday home games which will be played at 6pm Central Time.
All 82 regular season Thunder games will be broadcast either on FOX Sports Oklahoma or on KSBI-52 (Thunder TV). The complete local broadcast schedule will be released later this month.
This is also good news as consistent broadcasts will keep the team in the public eye and hopefully increase the number of fans. After the jump, a few thoughts from me...
- Tough Start: If you see the Thunder struggling at the beginning of the season, don't get too harsh on them. The schedule in the first few weeks is rather brutal. 9 of their first 15 games are on the road. They play the 2009 NBA Conference Champs Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers twice apiece in this 15 game stretch (one road game and one home game against each team). 10 of the first 15 are against 2009 playoff teams.
- Three Nationally Televised Games So Far: On the schedule, 3 games are listed as getting a national audience. Two are on NBA TV - November 15th against the Clippers and December 2nd against Philadelphia. Their sole ESPN game (so far) is on December 16th against the Mavericks.
- Holiday Basketball: The Thunder will play a few games right around some notable holidays. They play the Milwaukee Bucks at the Ford Center on the day after Thanksgiving. They have a New Years Eve game, also at home, against the Utah Jazz - a playoff team last year. And, they also play on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Atlanta.
Blake Griffin Returns Home: Mark your calendars for November 15th.
- Looks Easier On Paper: The "easier" stretch of the schedule, at least on paper right now, appears to run from about January 18th through March 12th. In these 54 days, the Thunder play 24 games, which means they'll have 30 rest/travel days in there. Only 11 of these 24 games are against 2009 playoff teams, and only 7 are against teams that were seeded 4 or better in the playoffs (the cream of the crop). They get to play 9 combined games, meanwhile, against Sacramento, LA Clippers, Minnesota, Memphis and Golden State.
Is there anything I missed that you'd like to point out? Feel free to add it in the comments section below!