The NBA released the schedule for the upcoming 2016-17 regular season today, and the Charlotte Hornets are slated to begin on the road against the Milwaukee Bucks on October 26th. Three days later, they will play their home opener against the Boston Celtics on October 29th.
Opening against Milwaukee is familiar territory for the Hornets, as they began the 2014-15 season at home against them. If you remember, the Hornets came back and forced overtime after Kemba Walker tied the game on a 3-pointer. Then in overtime, he did this:
I miss watching the Hornets play, and I miss Steve Martin. The game was exciting, and the perfect way to highlight the return of the Hornets name to Charlotte. Sadly, it also obscured the inevitable truth that Lance Stephenson and the Hornets weren't a good match, and that the season would end in total disappointment. But let's move on.
Flash forward two seasons, and both teams are looking to make the playoffs. Charlotte is the more likely candidate, but Milwaukee is certainly in the mix, which makes it important for the Hornets to hold the tiebreaker over a team like the Bucks. The two teams have matched up well in recent times, so it should make for a good, small-market matchup.
Following the first regular season game, Charlotte will travel to Miami before opening at home against Boston on the second game of a back-to-back. Counting preseason, this will be the 3rd time in the month of October the two teams will have met, so they will already be familiar with each other. As with Milwaukee, winning the season series against Boston is important. The Celtics are considered by some to be one of the top teams in the East, but the talent between the two teams isn't that significant. The Hornets were one of the best home teams in the league last season, so they should have an advantage given that, and given the Hive should be packed and loud on a Saturday night.