Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2009-08-11

Kevin Durant's goal of challenging for a playoff spot this season will be put the test by a challenging schedule in the early going. Oklahoma City's schedule is heavy with road games and playoff teams right off the bat.

The season opens with nine of the first 15 games on the road. The Thunder's record away from home last season was 8-33. Of the first 28 games, 18 are against teams that made the playoffs last season.

If this young Thunder squad is going to contend for the postseason spot in the stacked Western Conference, getting off to a solid start if key. Last season's slow start cost P.J. Carlesimo his job and had many wondering if the Thunder would set the all-time record for losses.

The schedule does have its highlights. After opening at home against Sacramento on Oct. 28, the Thunder plays at home against both of last season's NBA Finalists within the first two weeks. The Lakers come to town Nov. 3 and Orlando visits Nov. 8.

Of the 41 home games, 22 will be played on Friday, Saturday or Sunday nights. The All-Star Game is Feb. 14 in Dallas, and the Thunder is home against the Mavericks in the first game back after the break on Feb. 16.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: August 11, 2009