OKC Thunder: What you've seen is likely what you'll get

Back from a six-game road trip, the Thunder's strength of schedule is at .500 right now. Here are the factors that will impact the rest of the season.
By John Rohde Modified: January 29, 2013 at 7:37 pm •  Published: January 29, 2013
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photo - Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant, left, and Kendrick Perkins smile as the relax on the bench in the closing moment of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings in Sacramento, Calif., Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. The Thunder won 105-95. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli) ORG XMIT: SCA115
Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant, left, and Kendrick Perkins smile as the relax on the bench in the closing moment of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings in Sacramento, Calif., Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. The Thunder won 105-95. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli) ORG XMIT: SCA115

For the first time since its season opener at San Antonio on Nov. 1, the Thunder has played more road games than home games.

When folks around here last saw OKC play in person, the team's schedule was extremely top-heavy, having played five more home games than road games.

Back from a six-game road trip — the longest in franchise history — the Thunder's sked will be perfectly balanced at 23 games played both home and away when Thursday's 7 p.m. contest against Memphis is completed at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Many factors will influence what transpires the remainder of the 82-game regular season.

- Good health always is integral.

Golden State got healthier with the return of center Andrew Bogut from an ankle injury, but exactly how healthy is that perpetually troublesome right ankle of should-be All-Star guard Stephen Curry?

New York bulked up with the returns of forward Amar'e Stoudemire (knee) and point guard Raymond Felton (finger), and Chicago will soon do the same whenever Derrick Rose returns from last season's knee injury.

Meanwhile, Boston's chances of making the playoffs are teetering after losing All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo for the season with a knee injury.

- The trade deadline looms on Feb. 21 at 2 p.m.

Will Memphis relinquish or solidify itself as a contender by dealing or keeping forward Rudy Gay?

Will shooting guard J.J. Redick leave Orlando and fill a void with a playoff team?

What to do with the Los Angeles Lakers? Is trading center Dwight Howard actually an option, or are they finally headed in the right direction?



HOME/AWAY

Here is the home/away breakdown for Western Conference playoff contenders, ranked by home/away differential in remaining games:

TEAM; HOME; AWAY; SOS; H/A DIFF

Utah; 15-4; 9-16; .487; +6

Denver; 17-3; 10-15; .516; +5

San Antonio; 20-2; 16-9; .514; +3

Golden State; 14-6; 12-11; .513; +3

Thunder; 19-3; 15-8; .500; +1

Houston; 15-8; 9-14; .512; 0

Portland; 15-8; 7-14; .497; -2

LA Clippers; 20-5; 13-8; .510; -4

LA Lakers; 14-10; 5-15; .520; -4

Memphis; 17-7; 11-8; .519; -5

Note: Through Monday's games. SOS is strength of schedule for games played to date.

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