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Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Reactions to the schedule release

By Zach Harper

Here are some reactions to the schedule from around the TrueHoop Network.

- Royce Young of Daily Thunder on the Thunder's easiest month of the season (plus more of the schedule breakdown): "After a gauntlet in November and December, things cool considerably for the Thunder to kick off 2012. OKC opens with a three-game homestand and while out of the 14 games, OKC has just six home games to eight roadies, the close of January is pretty light with games against Washington, New Jersey, Milwaukee, Detroit and Cleveland. But I’m going with February as the easiest month. The Thunder plays just five playoff teams, has a four-game homestand and realistically could go 10-2 or even 11-1 in the month. Slogging through November and December could be a challenge but it eases up in 2012. So if the season just starts in January, the Thunder actually might have a pretty easy start to the schedule. Bright side!"

- Breene Murphy from Clipperblog discussing how a road game against the Miami Heat in February could be a huge test for the Clippers: "Looking back on the last season, the game that sticks out the most to me is the Clippers mid-January win over the Heat, when the Clips seemed to be running on all cylinders. Blake had 24 and 14, another double-double, and served the league notice that the Clippers were (well, at least at the time) for real. Then, of course, they stumbled on the road, getting crushed by the Heat in Miami. With one year’s growth and Mo now running point duties, I’ll be hoping that the Clippers can show their maturity, and maybe have a season defining win in hostile territory."

- Patrick Hayes and Dan Feldman from PistonPowered give a one-sentence preview of each game this season for Detroit. Including this one from Hayes: "In a show of respect toward beloved former coach John Kuester, the Pistons will skip the morning shootaround."

- The Kings haven't opened their season at home since 2003. Last time they did, LeBron James made his NBA debut on the Kings' homecourt. Jonathan Santiago remembers that moment on Cowbell Kingdom.

- The Pacers' schedule is extremely heavy with back-to-back sets this season. Jared Wade of 8 Points, 9 Seconds explains the imbalance with their circumstances: "Overall, they have 22 back-to-back sets on the year, which is I believe several more than league average. Four of these are also road/road back-to-backs as opposed to the more usual road/home or home/road. Zero are home/homes, which are the rarest of all."

- On 48 Minutes of Hell, Andrew McNeill weighs the options of a lockout-shortened season against a full season for an aging team and how ultimately the Rodeo Trip won't bend for anybody. "Some folks are of the opinion that a 50 game season could be good for an older, veteran team like the Spurs. This could be true, but there’s something to keep in mind. If the NBA schedule changes, and there’s a good chance it does, the Rodeo Road Trip is going to be key. The rodeo doesn’t care about a lockout, it’s going to start and end on its normal days. It doesn’t matter how short the NBA’s season is."

- Jeremy Schmidt of Bucksketball looks for the good in the road-heavy month of January for the Bucks. "Yet again, the Bucks will rank among the league leaders in back-to-back games (22 this season after 23 last season). While that could pose a problem, the largest mountain the Bucks will need to scale this season comes in January. On one hand, the team will get to avoid was is traditionally a brutal month of Wisconsin weather, so that’s exciting for them. On the other, they won’t exactly be on the beach enjoying themselves. Milwaukee begins the month with a five game road trip out West, stop back in Milwaukee for a game against the San Antonio Spurs and then travel for seven of their next eight games."

- Phillip Barnett of Forum Blue & Gold on why the Spurs-Lakers game on April 17th could be important in more ways than just the regular season game itself. "One of the coolest things about being an uncle is watching your nephew grow up and become a sports fan. On April 17th, my nephew will turn four and will be as impressionable as ever. I haven’t taken the little fella to a Lakers game yet, so I’m thinking a game against the only franchise that has rivaled the Lakers in winning pedigree over the last 15 years would be great for his first. There’s no telling how much longer Tim Duncan is going to play, so I’d love to catch this one live so my nephew will be able to say that he saw some of the greatest ball players ever on the same court in an epic Lakers/Spurs match up that will likely have playoff implications."

- Michael Schwartz from Valley of the Suns on Phoenix's second straight season of having a break on back-to-back sets. "Perhaps the most important aspect when analyzing a schedule comes from looking at the back-to-back games. The Suns will play 15 times on consecutive nights, one time fewer than last season when they played the second-fewest such contests in the league. That’s fantastic news for the Suns considering how tough such games often are, although Phoenix gutted out an 8-8 mark in such contests last year."