*Quick start: 16 of first 24 games are at home.
*Early departure: OKC completes its series against Detroit within the first two weeks of the season, hosting the Pistons on Nov. 9 and playing at Detroit on Nov. 12. In other Eastern Conference series, the Thunder is done with Atlanta by Dec. 19, Brooklyn by Jan. 2, Philadelphia by Jan. 4 and Toronto by Jan. 6.
*Late departure: OKC won't play Orlando until March 15 and completes the series four games later on March 22. Highly unlikely Dwight Howard will still be in a Magic uniform at that time. Thunder doesn't play Milwaukee until March 30 and closes out the regular season against the Bucks on April 17.
*Home Sweet Home: The Thunder's longest home stretch of the season is five straight, from Dec. 7 through Dec. 17. OKC's second-longest homestretch is three games (five times).
*Calm Christmas: Thunder will have four days to prepare for Christmas Day game at Miami. OKC plays at Minnesota on Dec. 20, comes home that night and will leave Dec. 24 for Miami.
*New Year's Eve: For the second straight season, the Thunder hosts Phoenix on New Year's Eve. OKC has never played a New Year's Eve game on the road and is 4-0 at home on Dec. 31.
*Cold January: 11 of 13 games are on the road from Jan. 6-27 and include three back-to-backs.
*Martin Luther King Day: Thunder has yet to play an MLK game at home and will not play on Jan. 21 this season. OU and OSU both play Big Monday games that day.
*Irony: Miami visits on Valentine's Day.
*Ides of March: Thunder has two brutal stretches in March. From March 1-11, it plays seven games with five road games in four time zones. From March 19-30, OKC plays seven games 11 days apart, also in four times zones.
*Think big: From Feb. 24 through March 11, the Thunder hosts Chicago, Boston and the Lakers and will play road games against Denver, the Clippers, New York and San Antonio.
*Late push: The last two regular-season games are at home against Sacramento and Milwaukee, which figures to help OKC's quest for a higher seed.
*Other notable visits: Nov. 28 is only visit for Houston's Jeremy Lin; Steve Nash and Lakers visit Dec. 7 and March 5; Rejuvenated Nets visit Jan. 2.
*Saturdays off: The Thunder will not have a Saturday home game this season. It's the second time the Thunder will not have a Saturday home game. The last time was in the inaugural 2008-09 season. In each of the previous three seasons, the Thunder played three Saturday home games each year.
*National exposure: The Thunder is scheduled to play before a nationally televised audience 25 times this season, an OKC record. TNT and ESPN will each broadcast 10 games apiece. ABC is scheduled to carry five Thunder games. The Thunder was scheduled for 17 nationally televised games across the TNT, ESPN and ABC networks when the scheduled was announced last season, and OKC was scheduled for 15 on the schedule's release date before to the 2009-10 season.
*Back-to-backs: 15 back-to-backs are scheduled this season. The Thunder played 18 back-to-backs in last season's abbreviated 66-game schedule. Three of the Thunder's 15 back-to-backs will be played in the first 12 days of the season.
*Game days: Monday (nine), Tuesday (eight), Wednesday (16), Thursday (nine), Friday (20), Saturday (five), Sunday (15).
JOHN ROHDE AND DARNELL MAYBERRY