There have been periods throughout NBA history where a week with road games at Indiana, New York and Philadelphia would be considered a rugged road trip.
The 76ers are a good young team on the rise but are off to a slow start. The Knicks and Pacers are a different story, the type of teams Oklahoma City must defeat on occasion if the Thunder wants to improve substantially on last year’s 20-62 record, the second worst finish in the league.
Improvement must start away from the Ford Center.
Seattle was 7-34 last season on the road, including a woeful 3-12 against the East, a conference that had only five of 15 teams finish above .500.
While the Thunder’s Western Conference peers were fattening up against the Eastern Conference, the Sonics struggled against teams east of the Mississippi River.
That’s why the next few weeks will be a crucial period for the Thunder. More than half of Oklahoma City’s 30 games against the Eastern Conference will be played by Christmas weekend.
Winning at the Ford Center will be pivotal, but so is winning some road games. Posting one road win a month won’t cut it.