On the other side of the ledger are weaker teams that don’t get to pad their schedule with a couple extra “chicken soup”2 games against themselves. The case in point here are the Los Angeles Lakers, who play in the generally more difficult Western Conference schedule, just without some of the “easiest” games3. Thus, they face the toughest projected schedule, with an average opponent strength of +.71 net rating team per 100 possessions, equivalent to a 43 win team.
The Indiana Pacers are having to make a minor change to their preseason schedule. Because the Indiana Fever beat the New York Liberty Tuesday night to advance to their third WNBA Finals in six years, Game 3 of the Finals is scheduled to be played at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Friday, Oct. 9 at 8:00 p.m. ET (ESPN2). Therefore, the Pacers, who already had their third exhibition game scheduled for that night, moved the game to the night before — to Thursday, Oct. 8, 7:00 p.m.
The Pacers will debut their new Hickory Huskers uniforms Nov. 6 at home against Miami. Team officials announced Tuesday that they will be worn 10 times this season. Indiana is making the change to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the movie “Hoosiers.”
The NBA, in an ongoing attempt to build more rest into the schedule and ease travel demands on its players, has announced another change to the NBA Finals format. The league introduced a revised template for its Finals schedule Wednesday, scrapping its long-standing Tuesday-Thursday-Sunday model with a pledge to ensure two days between games any time teams are required to change cities.
Fans in Newcastle, Oklahoma, will have the first opportunity to see the 2015-16 Oklahoma City Thunder squad in action as the team brings its annual Blue and White Scrimmage to Newcastle High School on Sunday, Oct. 4. This will be the team’s eighth annual Blue and White Scrimmage, held each year during U.S. Cellular Thunder Training Camp.