OKC Thunder adjusting to earlier game times
The NBA’s earlier game times have caused some challenges for the Thunder.
In typical seasons, the majority of games are at night.
But one of the biggest changes after the league’s return from a 141-day hiatus is the increase in morning and afternoon tip-off times.
For Thunder coach Billy Donovan, the new schedule has required his team to adjust.
- Related to this story
- Article: OKC Thunder: Five takeaways from win against Wizards
- Article: Tramel: Thunder beats the Washington Generals in the NBA bubble
“I think when you look back during the regular season, maybe you have a weekend game where you play a noon, or a 1 or a 2 p.m. game, but that's not very often,” Donovan said before the Thunder’s 121-103 win against the Wizards at AdventHealth Arena in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
“Most of your games are gonna be around 7 or 8 o'clock. This is totally different, from practice to game times.”
Although the new schedule has presented challenges, there is also a major advantage, Donovan said.
“The one positive I don't think that anybody really talks about in all this, that's been eliminated, is travel,” Donovan said. “Generally after a game, if you're on the road you're getting on a plane and you're going somewhere. That's been a really nice part, that besides the time changes being different, that when today's game's over with, we have a 10-minute drive back to the hotel.”
The Thunder, which tipped off at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, will play the Suns at 1:30 p.m. Monday in the second game of its only back-to-back in the bubble.
Thunder guard Luguentz Dort isn’t letting the earlier start times affect his mindset as he moves forward.
“It's definitely been way different,” he said. “At the end of the day, I just feel like it's basketball. Whatever time they give us to practice or play a game, we're just gonna be ready for it.”