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.
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