The NBA world typically runs on sample sizes of ten games. Talking to players, coaches and members of league management, the 82-game season is a marathon, but when you break it down into ten-game chunks, it doesn’t seem too bad. Reassessment after every 10 games is typical for organizations, including Mark Daigneault and the OKC Thunder..
The Oklahoma City Thunder will play the toughest schedule in basketball by every metric. The road is rough from the start of filming for OKC, and their season will be defined by the first 11 games of the season.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have the toughest schedule in the NBA and we’ll learn a lot about the OKC Thunder in the first 11 games.
The OKC Thunder are already gathering for a minicamp that features 13 players on the roster, led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey, to prepare for the NBA season just around the corner. Media Day is scheduled for the last week of September, following training camp and the Thunder playing in a preseason game on Oct. 3.
These past few weeks have changed the landscape of Thunder basketball this season, as Oklahoma City sees its prized prospect and No. 2 overall pick in July’s draft, Chet Holmgren, miss the entire season with a Lisfranc injury to his right foot. Last week, the Utah Jazz sent Donovan Mitchell to the Eastern Conference, which will also have a ripple effect for OKC.
The Oklahoma City Thunder will kick off their regular season Oct. 19 in Minnesota against the new Timberwolves who project to be the top half of the Western Conference team, with an away tilt to Denver before opening their home slate with a 3-pointer. game stretch against the Wolves on October 23, and the Clippers on October 25 and 27.
The first 11 games for the OKC Thunder conclude with them again facing the Dallas Mavericks, Orlando Magic, Denver Nuggets, Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks. In the first 11 games, nine of them are against playoff teams. The tilt with the Pistons is on the way, and they welcome Paolo Banchero and the Magic to National Television. The Thunder will be favorites to beat Vegas on what? One of these games?
A 1-11 start, a talent-heavy draft, and a season that derails because one of their best players is out for the season before it even starts isn’t a recipe for a competitive season.
However, if Mark Daigneault can get this Thunder team to perform above its level of expectation for the third straight season, it could be an amazing year in Bricktown.