The schedule for the NBA’s new In-Season Tournament has been revealed. Part of East Group B, the Charlotte Hornets will be one of four Eastern Conference teams to advance past the group stage. The teams that advance will be the winner of each group (six teams) and two wild cards (teams with the best record who did not win their respective group).
Making up the rest of East Group B are the Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, Miami Heat, and Washington Wizards. Each team has two home games and two away games during the four-game group play period. The first stage of the tournament begins on November 3rd, with games being played on Tuesdays and Fridays throughout the month. Charlotte is one of a handful of teams who will not begin on the 3rd of November, but rather the 10th. This is due to the odd number of teams per group and the Hornets happen to be the odd team out with the other four teams scheduled to tip off on the opening night of the tournament.
November 10: at Washington Wizards (1-3 in 2022-23)
November 14: vs Miami Heat (2-2 in 2022-23)
November 17: vs Milwaukee Bucks (1-2 in 2022-23)
November 28: at New York Knicks (1-2 in 2022-23)
First off, this is a pretty tough group for the Hornets. Three of the four teams they are scheduled to face were playoff teams last season, including the NBA Finals representative from the Eastern Conference, Miami Heat. Charlotte did not have a ton of success when facing their groupmates, going a combined 5-9 in those matchups. A season split with Miami is the standout while avoiding sweeps at the hands of the Bucks and Knicks is at least encouraging.
On one hand, it appears advancing could be a difficult task. On the other, with loftier goals in mind, they may focus on the regular season and traditional playoffs rather than the new In-Season Tournament and opt to have non-regulars see heavy minutes, giving a team like Charlotte a chance to advance.