Click Here For the Full Schedule (PDF Alert)
Amidst the Olympics Bonanza that we've all been experiencing, it's easy to forget about the NBA, especially with Free Agency winding down to the minimum contracts phase. But the NBA, always sneaky, decided to take one last opportunity to steal the spotlight by releasing their 2012-2013 schedule. And they pretty much succeeded, as every time I look at the NBA schedule I get really jones-y. It also never fails to make me feel weird, because this season is going to extend into the far-off outer space year of 2013.
Anyway, in case you were wondering, the Thunder are on national TV a LOT. Basically, national TV appearances are decided by two factors: Team Market, and Team Sexiness. Six of the other teams appearing on ABC this season (Knicks, Lakers, Clippers, Mavericks, Celtics) are all in huge markets and relatively good, so they get the nod. The other two teams to appear on ABC, the Thunder and Heat, have big stars and are good, thus having high sexiness and national appeal.
You might note that some good teams are left off of ABC, like the Indiana Pacers, the San Antonio Spurs, and the Memphis Grizzlies. This is basically because they're all in smaller markets, and don't have the big names to carry much of an audience nationally.
All of that said, the Thunder will appear on ABC five times, TNT ten times, ESPN ten times, and NBATV five times. That's 30 nationally televised games, or 37% of their total schedule. Yeah, it's totally insane. Their 25 non-NBATV national appearances are the maximum allowed by the NBA, tying them with the Heat, Lakers, and Knicks.
In addition, the Thunder have some pretty prime billing in terms of matchups. They have the 4:30 Christmas Day game on ABC, and it will be their first crack at the Heat since the NBA Finals. In addition, they're playing all of their toughest matchups nationally, such as in games against the Lakers, Spurs, and division rivals.
Locally, this increased fame means less calls for our beloved Brian Davis and Grant Long. The Fox Sports Oklahoma team will only be covering 70 games this year, staying blacked out for the five games on ABC and seven of the games on TNT. They will still get some marquee matchups though, getting the away game against Boston, two of the Lakers games, three of the Dallas games, two of the Spurs games, two of the Clippers games, and the home game against Chicago. As always, Matt Pinto will be holding down the Thunder Radio Network on WWLS, broadcasting the games for those who are late to the arena. And the three or four taxis we have in the city.
What matchup are you looking forward to the most? Vote in the poll, post a comment!