Spurs fans anxious for payback against the Oklahoma City Thunder won’t have to wait long this season. The team that ousted the silver and black in the Western Conference finals last June is first up on the Spurs’ home-court schedule, slated for a nationally televised affair Nov. 1 at the ATT Center that will be the second game of the 2012-13 season.
For the first time since 2006, the Spurs will open the regular season on the road, this time in New Orleans on Halloween night.
The NBA champion Heat won’t play in the Alamo City until March 31.
Express-News NBA beat writer Mike Monroe offers some dates fans should circle on their calendars:
Oct. 31 — at Hornets: How good will No. 1 overall draft pick Anthony Davis be? The Spurs will be the first team to find out.
Nov. 1 — vs. Thunder: TNT couldn’t wait for a nationally televised rematch of the Western Conference finals.
Nov. 29 — at Heat: LeBron James finally has a championship ring. Can he defend his first title?
LINSANITY, TEXAS STYLE
Dec. 7 — vs. Rockets: Jeremy Lin is a Rocket now. The Spurs’ Interstate 10 rival hit the reset button again, with Lin as the new centerpiece.
DIRK AND (NEW) FRIENDS
Dec. 30 — at Mavericks: The I-35 rivals don’t look much like last season’s Mavs, not with Jason Kidd and Jason Terry gone. But Dirk Nowitzki is still around.
KOBE AND BYNUM AND NASH, OH MY
Jan. 9 — vs. Lakers: Los Angeles hasn’t landed Dwight Howard — yet — but it did add the ageless Steve Nash. How good will the Lakers be on the fast break now?
Feb. 6 — at Timberwolves: Next season’s rodeo road trip will encompass nine games in 18 days, beginning with this game against the T’wolves and concluding Feb. 24 against the Suns.
Feb. 27 — vs. Suns: The aroma of the rodeo will still be in the arena when Spurs fans get their first look at their heroes in more than three weeks.
THINK ROSE-Y THOUGHTS
March 6 — vs. Bulls: Recent reports indicate 2010-11 MVP Derrick Rose will be sidelined until March. Could this be one of his first games back from a torn ACL?
BE A WITNESS
March 31 — vs. Heat: Love him or hate him, this will be your only chance to see James at ATT Center next season.
SPURS’ PRESEASON SCHEDULE
• Oct. 6: vs. Montespachi Siena, 7:30 p.m.
• Oct. 10: vs. Hawks, 7:30 p.m.
• Oct. 12: vs. Nuggets, 7:30 p.m.
• Oct. 14: at Rockets, 1 p.m.
• Oct. 20: at Heat, 6:30 p.m.
• Oct. 21: at Magic, 5 p.m.
• Oct. 26: at Wizards, 7:30 p.m.