The National Basketball Association released its season schedule for the 2017-18 regular season, and the Charlotte Hornets will begin it’s 29th season in franchise history on the road in Detroit on Wednesday, October 18th against the Detroit Pistons in their first ever game at the brand new Little Caesars Arena, marking just the third straight season that the Charlotte franchise has opened up its season for just the second time on the road in franchise history(2008-10). Two days later, the Hornets will return home to Spectrum Center in uptown Charlotte, as Dwight Howard will face his former team, the Atlanta Hawks, in Charlotte’s home opener at “The Hive”.
One of the changes fans will see in this year’s schedule is that Charlotte will only see Eastern Conference foes Boston, Brookyln, Cleveland, and Detroit only three times this season, while facing the other teams in their conference four times each.
HORNETS TO GO PRIMETIME ON ESPN
This season, the Hornets will have eight nationally televised games, with three of the games slated for ESPN’s NBA coverage this season, starting with the November 15th game vs. LeBron James and the Cavaliers(8:00 p.m.). The two other games that ESPN will pick up this season will come on December 6th vs. Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, and the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors(8:00 p.m), and the December 13th game vs. Chris Paul, James “The Beard” Harden and the Houston Rockets on the road in Houston(9:30 p.m.) NBA TV will have 5 games featuring the Hornets this season, while the schedule for the games on FOX Sports Southeast, the Hornets regional television partner, will be released at a later date.
FEWER BACK-TO-BACK GAMES AWAIT HORNETS IN 2017-18
Another change to the schedule is that Charlotte will only have 14 sets of back-to-back games this upcoming season, and the 14 sets of back-to-back home games will be only two fewer than what the team had last season, when they had 16 back-to-backs.
The longest homestand for the Hornets will come from January 17th-24th, while Charlotte will have a long 5-game road trip from March 13th-21st. Some of the other marquee matchups that fans will see at Spectrum this season will feature games vs. San Antonio(November 25th), Boston(December 27th), and reigning NBA MVP Russell Westbrook leads the Oklahoma City Thunder into town to face the Hornets on Saturday, January 13th.
HOME COURT ADVANTAGE
Last season, Charlotte averaged 17,332 fans per game, while recording 10 sellouts at home, marking the third time that the team has finished with an average attendance of more than 17,00 and double-figure sellouts.
Of the 41 home games, 20 of them will take place on the following weekend dates:
- Seven on Fridays
- Eight on Saturdays
- Five on Sundays
For the Sunday games, four of the games will all be matinee games starting at 1:00 p.m., while the game on October 29th vs. Orlando will be a 6:00 p.m. tip-off.