The NBA has finally released the full schedule for all teams, and regardless of whether you're a Thunder fan or a fan of another team, I'm sure you will be able to pinpoint quickly where both the fun and the rough spots are going to happen. For the Thunder, you can see it right up front - they will be tested early. Twelve of OKC's first 14 games come against playoff teams from last season, along with the Suns and the Timberwolves. On top of that, they get the both the Grizzlies (they'll be looking for some payback) and their vanquisher from last season, the world champion Mavericks, twice in that span.
Mayberry runs through a series of questions that helps us hone in on how this season will feel. Unfortunately, the Wizards will not be making the trip to OKC (sorry to disappoint).
Young takes a look at the games he is most anticipating, and notes that the Thunder are now one of the top five televised teams in the league (17 TV dates).
Statistical confirmation that the Thunder received few gifts in scheduling this year:
Boston, with 57 wins, and Oklahoma City, with 56 wins, both were among the NBA's elite last year. However, both drew exceedingly difficult home-and-home opponents, likely by virtue of their television-friendly teams.
The Amnesty clause has gotten lots of attention and interest, but I don't think it is going to be used nearly as much as people might think. Never the less, Lowe examines it in detail here.
Rhode gives us a concise reminder of how the luxury tax is going to work in the current CBA deal.
The great thing about the release of a schedule is that we all immediately think we know everything. The bad thing about it is that we will soon learn that we're wrong about almost everything.
Hope springs eternal.
More TV appearances = greater celebrity = bigger endorsements = a ride in the back of Jay-Z's limo. An easy equation.
Young runs down his league-wide choice of can't miss games. Somehow Cleveland ends up on this list.
Grampa Stern is thrilled that you'll be coming over for Thanksgiving, New Years, Easter, and every other day of the new year. Don't forget to bring a host gift.
More links after the jump.
This is what happens when you do advertising by committee.
We should all re-watch the Thunder & Grizzlies' Game Four to get ready for their showdowns this season.
Everybody has a right to complain, right?
Woah, Blott, can't we even start this season first?