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Thunder has a brutal final two weeks

By John Rohde, Staff Writer, Modified: January 18, 2011 at 10:29 pm •  Published: January 18, 2011

In that same time span, the Jazz plays zero back-to-back games. Utah's final back-to-back of the season is March 23-24 against OKC-New Orleans (away-home).

“Ooh,” Brooks said while perusing the schedule. “Can I go back to that original question again?”

All NBA conference schedules essentially are created equal. Division teams play each other four times; they play the remaining conference teams either three or four times; and everybody has a home-and-home against teams from the opposite conference.

Here is where there could be a two-game advantage for the Thunder against Northwest co-favorite Utah.

The Jazz plays Dallas and the Los Angeles Lakers four times each, while the Thunder faces the Lakers and Mavericks only three times each. Utah and OKC play Western Conference leader San Antonio three times.

Is too much being read into all this? Is this paralysis by analysis?

“The schedule's tough for everybody,” Brooks said. “There are a lot of good teams, a lot of tough situations where you play back-to-back, but you have to figure out ways to fight through it and win. We're no different than the other 29 teams.”