The Hornets schedule has been released. Here are some interesting, immediate thoughts.
October 29th Milwaukee @ Charlotte
The Hornets will begin their season in Charlotte, against Jabari Parker and the Bucks. This game is a big one, not just because of it being the start of the season. The Hornets will be playing their first real basketball game, in over a decade this night. The crowd should be electric. Oh and for you college basketball fans, Parker went to Duke, so all the Duke fans can see their Hornets return and get a look at their latest NBA product.
November 5th Miami @ Charlotte
The Heat might not be what they used to be, but this is a rematch of last year's playoff match up, and their first division match up of the season. The beginning of the season never means much, but if the Hornets want any chance at winning the division, it never hurts to get an early lead.
The Hornets are in seven national TV games this season, including two ESPN games late in the year against the Toronto Raptors. The rest will be on NBA TV. Charlotte is expected to be well in the thick of the playoff race late in the season and the schedule acknowledges that. There's a chance to be on national TV even more with NBA TV's fan nights. These nights the fans get to vote on what game they want to see.
November 9th marks the beginning of Charlotte's very first western conference road trip. Beginning against the Los Angeles Lakers, and ending with the Golden State Warriors. This will be an early test against a powerful conference.
November 19th Charlotte @ Indiana
Lance Stephenson is returning to Indiana to take on the Pacers.
The Hornets have 22 back to backs this season. Charlotte had the most back to backs in the NBA last season (thanks to the readers who pointed that out to me), and they have plenty this season. About a quarter of the Hornets games will be on the 2nd half of a back to back.
January 14th San Antonio @ Charlotte
The defending champs come to town to take on the Hornets. The defending champs are always a highlight. If you're willing to take the risk of Pop sitting his stars, I'd suggest getting tickets for this one. It might be the last chance you have at seeing some of these guys.
February 2nd and 5th
The Hornets have two straight games against the Wizards these days. We all remember how close last year's race with them was last year. This will be a chance to get an advantage on that tie breaker, or maybe even win the division itself.
March 6th Toronto @ Charlotte
February is usually a dull month. The games count but it's sluggish and it feels like everybody is just going through the process. March can be the same way, but for the Hornets, it will be when things start to pick up. This game against the Raptors will be the start to Charlotte's late season run for playoff seeding.
April 8th Toronto @ Charlotte
Charlotte's first regular season ESPN game since they were put on TV just for the purposes of letting the Heat set a record (which didn't even happen).
April 15th Charlotte @ Toronto
Last game of the season, ESPN game, possibly a big match up for seeding, this is a big one for the Hornets.
What excites you about the schedule? Let us know in the comments below!