Predictions for the Charlotte Hornets First 10 Games of the Season

Oct 20, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14) talks with guard Kemba Walker (15) during the second half of the game against the Miami Heat at the Spectrum Center. Hornets win 96-88. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 20, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14) talks with guard Kemba Walker (15) during the second half of the game against the Miami Heat at the Spectrum Center. Hornets win 96-88. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports /

The Charlotte Hornets have a somewhat difficult start to the 2016-17 regular season, but the team will look to hit the ground running.

With the NBA’s regular season set to tip-off, the Charlotte Hornets will begin their year on the road against the Milwaukee Bucks. After stumbling out of the blocks to a 5-5 start last season, a win on opening night could give this team a push to begin the year. They haven’t had much success at the beginning of seasons over the past few years but fans are hoping this time is different.

In the team’s first 10 games of the season, they will have five home games and five on the road. Charlotte will also be taking on five playoff teams from a year ago and even the defending Champions in the Cleveland Cavaliers. Despite opening up the year away from home, the Hornets will have a three game home stand from November 7th to November 11th.

A winning start to the year would give Charlotte some much-needed confidence and momentum after they started last regular season with a three game losing streak. Over the past five seasons, the franchise have a 22-28 record overall in their first 10 games. They have only one winning record (above .500) in the first ten games over the past five years. (2012-13)

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So while a great start shouldn’t be expected from Charlotte, their recent success has fans expecting a winning record. This isn’t the Hornets from years ago that could wonder under .500 and where mediocrity was the standard. The organization is on the up-and-up with teams around the league are taking notice. They must build on their strong performances last season with a great start to this year.

While a winning record in a team’s first 10 matches doesn’t guarantee success throughout the season, it doesn’t hurt.

According to the numbers, the Hornets will have a somewhat difficult, yet comfortable, start to the 2016 campaign. The Hornets will be tested in their first 10 games with a wide variety of opponents ranging from perennial lottery teams to championship contenders.

Our friends over at Nylon Calculus set up a chart ranking each NBA team’s first 10 games by difficultly. The schedule makers did Charlotte some favors to begin the season but while their opposition is fairly tough, it isn’t as bad as the Denver Nuggets or as easy as the Indiana Pacers.

Here are the first 10 games of the season with predictions:

First 10 Games of the Season:

(Bold and italicized means playoff team from last season)

10/26 – @ Milwaukee Bucks – W

The Hornets were 2-1 against the Bucks last season with one of those wins coming in Milwaukee. They may be an exciting, up-and-coming team but Charlotte should be able to handle them despite dealing with a few injuries.

10/28 – @ Miami Heat – W

The Heat beat the Hornets in seven games of the first round during last year’s playoffs but it will be different this time around. With Miami losing Dwyane Wade and not gaining many pieces, Charlotte should walk away with the victory.

10/29 – vs Boston Celtics – L

Home opener should be an easy win right? Wrong. The Celtics are projected to be the second best team in the East, only behind the Cavs. This will be a difficult task for Charlotte. They could pull off the win with the Buzz City behind them but it will be anything but easy now that Boston added Al Horford to their already talented roster.

11/2 – vs Philadelphia 76ers – W

The worst team in the NBA over the past few season dealing with injuries to their best players? Yup. This should be one of the easier wins on the year for Charlotte. Plus they are at home.

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11/4 – @ Brooklyn Nets – W

The Hornets were 4-0 against Brooklyn last year and even though they added Jeremy Lin, Charlotte should still get the victory away from home. The Nets could be better than expected this season but the Queen City team should have enough talent to get past them with ease.

11/7 – vs Indiana Pacers – W

Al Jefferson returns to town in this match-up. The Pacers may be the most improved team in the East on paper. They added plenty of talent but Charlotte are one of the best home teams in the league. They will pull out a close win over Paul George and Indiana.

11/9 – vs Utah Jazz – W

The Utah Jazz are a dangerous team that many are picking as their dark horse out West. While I buy their hype, I think the Hornets are a better all-around team. Plus, injuries to Gordan Heyward, Alec Burks, and Derrick Favors could leave them shorthanded. Charlotte win this one at home.

11/11 – vs Toronto Raptors – L

The Raptors are one of the best teams in the East and they may have gotten better over the summer. This should be a great barometer game for Charlotte. They can see where they stack up against the Eastern Conference contenders. I just think Toronto has a bit more talent with better chemistry as the Hornets will still be building their at the start of the year with new players.

11/13 – @ Cleveland Cavaliers – L

Beating LeBron James is a difficult task for Charlotte’s franchise. With the game in Cleveland, that makes it even tougher on Steve Clifford’s squad. While they may keep it close, the Cavs should hand the Hornets an L.

11/15 – @ Minnesota Timberwolves – W

Alright, remember the preseason finale when Charlotte got blown out by the T-Wolves in Minnesota by what seemed like 50? That won’t happen again. The Hornets will have their starters in this one and should get the W over the next generation of superstars in Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns.

Next: RTD: Hornets' Season Preview

I predict that the Charlotte Hornets will have a 7-3 record in their first 10 games. What are your thoughts? Share your predictions and let’s see how this season plays out.