A look at each game Russell Westbrook could miss if he is sidelined the first six weeks of the regular season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery Tuesday and how his absence could affect the Thunder.
DATE; OPPONENT; 2012-13 RECORD; 2012-13 SERIES
Oct. 30; at Utah; 43-39; 3-1
What to watch for: Don't expect much difficulty here. With the Jazz in full-blown rebuilding mode, Utah could be the Western Conference's worst team.
Nov. 1; at Minnesota; 31-51; 2-2
What to watch for: Even with a healthy Westbrook, the Thunder struggled last season against the Wolves. Now, the Wolves are healthy and more talented.
Nov. 3; Phoenix; 25-57; 4-0
What to watch for: The Suns are also starting over and expected to be another cellar dweller in the West. OKC couldn't have asked for a better home opener.
Nov. 6; Dallas; 41-41; 4-0
What to watch for: The Mavs-Thunder matchup is always a good one. But with the Thunder at home and Dallas integrating new pieces, OKC still has the edge.
Nov. 8; at Detroit; 29-53; 2-0
What to watch for: The Pistons are another retooled team with Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings. But the Thunder is 3-1 all-time at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
Nov. 10; Washington; 29-53; 1-1
What to watch for: Wizards point guard John Wall is now healthy and expected to be a handful. Because Westbrook could neutralize him, this could be the first game the Thunder truly misses its All-Star point guard. Reggie Jackson will have his hands full.
Nov. 13; at L.A. Clippers; 56-26; 3-0
What to watch for: Here's where the schedule toughens. Chris Paul is one of the game's best regardless of positions, and the Thunder's offense will be hard-pressed to keep up with the high-octane Clippers without Westbrook.
Nov. 14; at Golden State; 47-35; 3-1
What to watch for: A back-to-back that's as tough as it gets. Golden State is a legitimate threat, and the Warriors' guards have given the Thunder fits in the past.
Nov. 16; at Milwaukee; 38-44; 1-1
What to watch for: Newcomers Brandon Knight and O.J. Mayo figure to be the Bucks' starting backcourt. Neither will be too much for Reggie Jackson and Thabo Sefolosha.
Nov. 18; Denver; 57-25; 1-3
What to watch for: The Thunder couldn't keep speedster Ty Lawson and the Nuggets out of the paint at any point last season. Only way to go is up.
Nov. 21; L.A. Clippers; 56-26; 3-0
What to watch for: A second matchup with the Clips in eight days offers optimism that whatever might go wrong in the first meeting will be figured out this time around.
Nov. 24; Utah; 43-39; 3-1
What to watch for: With a much better team, the Jazz were just 13-28 on the road last year.
Nov. 27; San Antonio; 58-24; 2-2
What to watch for: Tony Parker is a problem. When the Spurs are successful against OKC, he generally has his way. Without Westbrook around to turn it into a shootout, this will be a great early-season test of the Thunder's defense.
Nov. 29; Golden State; 47-35; 3-1
What to watch for: It'll be the end of a difficult five-game homestand. The Thunder will want to close it out strong. Under the circumstances, a 3-2 mark would be acceptable.
Dec. 1; Minnesota; 31-51; 2-2
What to watch for: Thunder fans as well as anyone know how much Kevin Martin struggled on the road last season. If that trend continues this season, it will eliminate one of Minnesota's new weapons.
Dec. 3; at Sacramento; 28-54; 3-0
What to watch for: The Kings have one borderline star in DeMarcus Cousins and a cast of complementary players. They also tied Phoenix with a conference-worst 8-33 road mark last year.
Dec. 4; at Portland; 33-49; 4-0
What to watch for: Reigning Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard is on the cusp of stardom. But the young Blazers are more than a one-man show. They've bolstered their bench with experience and shooting. This will be a tough second night of a back-to-back.
Dec. 6; at New Orleans; 27-55; 4-0
What to watch for: The Hornets added Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans, two tremendous talents. But nobody knows how the personalities will fit. Look for the Thunder's superior talent and continuity to win out.
Dec. 8; Indiana; 49-32; 2-0
What to watch for: An Eastern Conference Finalist a year ago, the Pacers are back and better than before. Their defense is their calling card. But they've added offensive threats in Luis Scola, C.J. Watson and a healthy Danny Granger.
Dec. 10; at Atlanta; 44-38; 1-1
What to watch for: After losing Josh Smith to Detroit, there's no telling whether the Hawks will be the sixth seed or the 12th seed.
Dec. 11; at Memphis; 56-26; 1-2
What to watch for: Nobody needs a reminder of how bad the Grizzlies made the Thunder look without Westbrook. By now, you can only hope things will be different.
Dec. 13; L.A. Lakers; 45-37; 3-1
What to watch for: Talk about a big game. We could see the return of Westbrook and Kobe Bryant (Achilles). If not, this one just won't be what it used to be.
Dec. 15; Orlando; 20-62; 2-0
What to watch for: Victor Oladipo is a preseason favorite for Rookie of the Year. Outside of him and a few other promising youngsters, the Magic are in over their heads.