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OKC Thunder trying to catch up

By Mike Baldwin Modified: October 16, 2008 at 12:30 am •  Published: October 16, 2008
The Thunder’s longest road trip all season will be four games in eight days in late November and early December.

That puts into perspective a crazy preseason schedule that saw Oklahoma City play five preseason games in five different cities — in one week.

"I’ve never had a seven-day preseason road trip. Ever,” forward Desmond Mason said. "I don’t care what part of the season you’re in, five games in seven days will wear you down.”

Because of the uncertainty surrounding the organization’s future — relocating from Seattle in early July — the Thunder is playing a bizarre preseason schedule.

The only opportunity to play a game in Tulsa was to replace Orlando on the schedule Oct. 13. The only mutual date to play the Clippers in the Ford Center was Oct. 14.

A hectic schedule started in Billings, Mont., followed by games in Sacramento, Oakland, Tulsa and Oklahoma City. An ideal preseason schedule is to play a game, have a couple of days off to practice, play another game and have a couple more days off to practice. The unusual preseason schedule now takes another weird turn. The Thunder will go nine days between games.

"This break is really going to help us tighten up a few things,” forward Nick Collison said. "So much of preseason is to see where you screw up and correct it in practice. We didn’t have a chance to do that because we were playing so many games.”

Several players said one benefit to the grueling road trip was it helped build camaraderie. Now that it’s over, they’re glad to spend several days at home and implement more of the offense.

"This week, we can watch a lot of film and see how guys get off (scoring),” forward Chris Wilcox said.


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