Right now, perhaps a month away from training camp, it has been silent in the NBA world. The leaves are beginning to change color and the crash and rattle of a dunked basketball is but a fainting whisper. Looking ahead, the excitement will be here sooner than two months sounds. The Charlotte Hornets schedule is on their website. Let’s take a look at the first month of action.
-The Charlotte Hornets make their highly anticipated home debut on October 29th versus the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks have been through complete misery to get a chance to draft former Duke player Jabari Parker. Both teams have similar hills to climb: young and talented, but inexperienced. Time Warner Cable Arena will be packed and you will not want to miss this game.
-The Hornets play division foes Heat and Hawks twice in the month of November. Atlanta will have a healthy Al Horford ready to go, which is scary considering the team made the playoffs without him. The Hornets will be itching to get another shot at the Miami Heat after they went down against them in the playoffs.
-Charlotte will play nine home games and nine away games during the months of October and November. Eight games will be against Eastern opponents and ten games will be against Western opponents. November will include five back-to-backs. The Hornets will play eleven games versus teams that made the playoffs in the 2013-2014 season.
-Beginning on November 9th, the Hornets will embark on a four game road trip against the Lakers, Blazers, Suns and Warriors. The Blazers and the Warriors reached 50 wins last season. The Suns were not far behind that mark. Last season, Charlotte went .500 against those opponents combined. The week of November 23rd, the Hornets will play at Miami before hosting the Clippers, Blazers and Warriors. Those are some brutal stretches that present early tests for a team trying to get back to the playoffs.
-His debut is as anticipated as the Hornets debut. Lance’s star will be on the rise as he works to make good on a prove-it contract. On November 19th, he will make his first appearance at Bankers Life Fieldhouse since leaving the Pacers. There may be mixed emotions, but it should make for a fun atmosphere. How will Indiana adjust after losing their best playmakers? If they can’t answer that question, they may be out of luck in a beefed up Eastern Conference.
-Oct 29 Jabari Parker has been one of the most hyped draft prospects in a long time. He instantly increases Milwaukee’s stock. It will take time for the Bucks but they nabbed a home run draft pick. He’s not immune to the usual NBA adjustments that have to be made. However, he already has a vaunted offensive arsenal.
-Nov 4 Anthony Davis is a monster. Last season, he averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds per game. His new teammate, Omer Asik, should help to create a formidable terror in the paint for the Pelicans. They haven’t had success getting to the postseason since Chris Paul left. It won’t be any easier this year.
-Nov 21 Orlando has guys like Evan Fournier and Tobias Harris to create some stability. However, their past 2-3 years of draft work is what makes this team intriguing. Now they can add Aaron Gordan and Elfrid Payton to a young, athletic group that includes Cody Zeller’s Indiana teammate Victor Oladipo.