The Charlotte Hornets schedule has come out, and outside of the typical first game of the season, first home game, and national TV stuff there usually isn't all that much exciting about it. After all, in the NBA you play every team a minimum of twice so it's more of a when and not if teams are going to play. This is why, when looking at the schedule, it's a lot more interesting to see what stretches of the season are going to be the roughest. Every team goes through ups and downs throughout a year, but it's those home stands and west coast road trips that really define a regular season. Too many bad stretches of play, and a good team can find itself looking outside the playoffs come late April. However, the best teams are the ones that can weather that storm, and come out of it looking good. For the Hornets, these are what appear to be their two roughest stretches of the entire season.
New Year's road trip
The Charlotte Hornets get a big game at home against the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers on New Year's Eve, their second match of the season against LeBron James and friends. After the new year however, the Hornets begin a brutal stretch with six of their next seven games coming on the road, and the lone home game being against an angry Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder. On this road trip, the Hornets will play plenty of teams that made last season's playoffs like the San Antonio Spurs, Detroit Pistons, and Boston Celtics. They'll also take on the new look Chicago Bulls. Luckily for Charlotte there are no back to backs on this trip, because they're gonna need that rest.
Post All-Star break road trip
This road trip might not seem as bad had the NBA not stripped the city of Charlotte of the All-Star game, but now the Hornets are going to coming out of the break with an immediate trip out west. First they stay in conference for a game at Detroit, but then they had to California to take on the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers along with DeMarcus Cousins and the Sacramento Kings. All of those are NBA TV games by the way. Afterwards, the Hornets will begin to make their way back East with a game against the Phoenix Suns before finishing their trip west against the Denver Nuggets. They will then fly back to Charlotte for their national TV matchup against the Indiana Pacers.
There's only one back to back in this trip, the Hornets will take on the Kings before heading south and taking on the Clippers the next day. The Kings game is a matinee however so luckily the Hornets should get to L.A. with plenty of time for rest before their 6:30 p.m. local tip off. Honestly, the roughest part of this trip will be finishing out in Denver. Nobody enjoys playing in that high altitude, but add in that the Hornets will be desperate to get back home at the end of a long road trip and that one could end up being a schedule loss.