Thoughts and analysis on the Hornets 2023-24 schedule

The NBA released the full schedule for the 2023-24 season on Thursday, one day after they released the In Season Tournament schedule. The Hornets released a neat little retro music themed video unveiling some of the key home games. Perhaps those will be promo nights? I don’t know.

The Hornets will open the season at home against the Hawks on Wednesday, October 25th at 7:00pm. It’s the first of three straight home games to start the season, followed by the Pistons and Nets. It’s the opening of a pretty soft start to the season for the Hornets, who will be without Miles Bridges for the first ten games. The Heat are the best opponent in that stretch, and it features four games against the Pistons, Rockets, and Wizards.

The Hornets have one nationally televised game. It is on Friday, January 12 against the San Antonio Spurs at 10:00pm eastern time. The game will be featured on ESPN and will be advertised as a showdown between the top two picks of the 2023 NBA Draft, though it seems kinda late in the season to use that angle for national appeal.

We won’t get to settle the Scoot vs Miller debate until later on. The Hornets don’t play the Blazers until February 25.

The dreaded west coast trip that will seemingly tank the Hornets season comes right at the turn of the new year. They have a six game road trip from Tuesday December 26 through Friday January 5th. The last game is against the Bulls, but the other five games could very well be against the top five teams in the West next season.

The Hornets have a great chance to finish the season strong. They play eight straight home games from Wednesday March 27 through Tuesday April 9. The downside of that is the schedule will be somewhat road heavy for much of the season, especially right before that homestand. After the All Star break, the Hornets will play 17 straight games without consecutive home games (13 total road games, 4 home). If they can stay afloat there, they have a great chance to make a late push down the stretch. They do finish with three straight road games though.

Then we have the In season tournament, a new wrinkle to the early portions of the regular season. If you’re not quite sure how it all will work, we went over all the ins and outs of it here.

Here is the Hornets schedule for group play:

  • Friday, November 10, 7:00pm at Wizards
  • Tuesday, November 14, 7:00pm vs Heat
  • Friday, November 17, 7:00pm vs Bucks
  • Tuesday, November 28, 7:30pm at Knicks

The Hornets caught a bit of a break here getting arguably the two toughest opponents at home while getting their more winnable match-ups on the road. If the Hornets can top the group or finish as the East’s best runner-up, they’ll advance to the knockout rounds. Remember, these games also count as regular season games. And any team that doesn’t advance will still be playing the same number of games when all is said and done.

All in all nothing really to complain about, and there are a few things that may actually work in the Hornets favor. All of the games will be televised on Bally Sports Southeast as per usual.

A few other scheduling quirks I noticed at a glance around the league and thought I would share:

  • The Spurs have a bunch of nationally televised games scheduled, but they’re all in the first half-ish of the season. The league trying to capitalize on the Wemby fever while it’s hot.
  • The Blazers only have one nationally televised game. It’s against the Heat in late February. I wonder what the angle is there…
  • The Christmas Day slate features 9 of the same 10 teams as last season. The only change is the Heat in place of the Grizzlies.
  • It’s an all Western Conference start to the season with the Lakers, Nuggets, Suns, and Warriors featured on opening day, Tuesday, October 24.

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