By Randy Renner, Senior Writer
The NBA should release the full 2016-17 regular season schedule in the next few days and the Thunder have now solidified their preseason schedule.
Half the games will be here in Oklahoma, one of them in Texas and the other two are set for Europe.
The Thunder begin the preseason on the road and across the Atlantic for a couple of contests in Spain that were previously announced.
On October 3rd the Thunder will play Real Madrid and then on October 5th OKC takes on FC Barcelona. That second game could be interesting because it’s against the former team of Thunder rookie Alex Abrines.
The team will return home for some extended practice then on Tuesday, October 11th, they’ll take on the Mavericks in Dallas. A few years ago the Thunder and the Mavs had hoped to play an annual preseason game in Big D on the Friday of OU-Texas weekend but the schedule has worked out that way just once for a variety of reasons.
Oklahoma City’s last three games of the preseason will be in the Sooner State. The Thunder will play Memphis in Tulsa’s BOK Center on October 13th and then will finish up with the last two games at home inside Chesapeake Energy Arena. Minnesota will come in on Sunday, October 16th and Denver will be at The Peake for a visit on Tuesday, October 18th.
The regular season begins about a week later but we won’t know when the Thunder season will start until the league releases the full regular season schedule.
Tickets for the Thunder-Grizzlies game in Tulsa are on sale now through the BOK Center. Tickets for the two games at The Peake will go on sale through the Thunder’s website on September 24th.
Sabonis, Abrines Update
Thunder rookies Domantas Sabonis and Alex Abrines are having wildly different Olympics so far. Sabonis has had quite a bit of playing time and has looked good for many of those minutes. Abrines has spent practically all his time riding the pine in Rio.
Abrines did not play in Spain’s first game and was on the floor for only a couple lf minutes in the second game. He didn’t have any points or rebounds. Abrines is the youngest member of the Spanish team, a squad that already has several wing players so Abrines may not see much action for the rest of the Olympics either.
Sabonis played almost 20 minutes in Lithuania’s first game and almost 25 minutes in the second. In Lithuania’s 89-80 win over Nigeria Tuesday afternoon he scored eight points on 4-for-7 shooting and pulled down seven rebounds. He also had three steals and finished with a plus-minus of +11.