By Randy Renner
When you have a popular and exciting team with two superstars (one of them the league MVP) and a third who is approaching All-Star status you’re gonna get a lot of TV time and the Thunder certainly will this coming season.
32 games will be on either ESPN, TNT, ABC or NBA-TV. 10 will be on ESPN, nine on TNT and six on ABC for a total of 25 on the major outlets, that's the maximum amount teams can be on. The Cavs and the Bulls also have 25 games on ABC, ESPN and TNT.
The first two games of the season will be nationally televised, ESPN carrying the Opening Night game in Portland on Wednesday, October 28th and TNT has the call the next night in Los Angeles when the Thunder play the Clippers.
The schedule makers didn’t do the Thunder any favors to start the season. Four of their first five games are on the road, with road trips to both coasts and two sets of back-to-backs.
After the Portland-LA two step the Thunder will have their home opener on Saturday November 1st hosting the Denver Nuggets. Then it’s back out on the road for a Monday game at Brooklyn followed by Tuesday night in Toronto.
So in the first week of the season the Thunder will rack up the frequent flyer miles going from Portland to LA to OKC to Brooklyn and then Toronto and then back to OKC. It is a brutal stretch just for the travel but made even more difficult by the quality of the opponents. The Thunder will have to come out of the gate on top of their game to avoid a stumbling start.
The Thunder will have three 4-game home stands and their longest road trip will be a five gamer in January taking them to Orlando, Miami, Washington, Atlanta and Cleveland. They will have four 3-game road trips.
24 of OKC’s 41 home games will be on the weekends and 11 of those games will be on Sundays.
The Thunder will be on the road for Christmas, at San Antonio, and home for New Year’s Eve against Phoenix.
In April, as the Thunder come down the home stretch of the season five of their eight games will be at The Peake, the last game of the season will be on the road at Minnesota.
The Thunder play the Spurs just three times this season and just one of those games will be in OKC, on April 7th.
A couple of other dates to remember, LeBron James brings his Cleveland Cavaliers to OKC on December 11th. Derek Fisher and his New York Knicks will be in town on November 28th. James Harden and Pat Beverley will play at The Peake with their Rockets teammates on November 16th and April 5th. Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and the rest of the Clippers will be in town on February 8th and March 11th. Marcus Smart and Jeff Green will be back with the Celtics on March 18th. Derrick Rose brings the Bulls in on March 15th. Z-Bo and the Grizzlies will be in town on November 7th and February 11th and The Splash Brothers will be here with the Warriors on November 23rd and January 16th. Kobe Bryant and the Lakers are in town just once on March 24th.
The Thunder still have not announced their entire preseason schedule but that should be done very soon and tickets to all games will go on sale as we get a little closer to the start of the season.