A five-game January home stand, ending with a game against the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors, highlights the Charlotte Hornets’ 2016-17 schedule.
Former Davidson star Stephen Curry, the two-time NBA most valuable player, makes his one appearance of the season at Time Warner Cable Arena Jan. 25.
The Hornets’ first two games are on the road: Oct. 26 at Milwaukee and Oct. 28 at Miami. The home opener is Oct. 29 against the Boston Celtics.
The last regular-season home game is April 8 against the Celtics, followed by two road games - at Milwaukee April 10 and at Atlanta April 11.
The Hornets are scheduled for two national television appearances on ESPN - a home game Nov. 23 against the San Antonio Spurs and the home game against the Warriors in January. They are on TNT once, Mar. 6 at home versus the Indiana Pacers.
The Hornets will play 18 of their 41 home games before New Year’s Day, including a New Year’s Eve game with the NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers. The other home game against the Cavaliers is March 24. Eighteen home games are on either Friday or Saturday.
The schedule includes 16 pairs of games on back-to-back nights. The NBA has been working of late to minimize back-to-backs, particularly four games in five nights. The Hornets have one instance of four games in five nights in late November.
“From a business perspective, we’re thrilled. This market is day-of-the-week sensitive, so the Fridays and Saturdays help,” said Pete Guelli, the Hornets’ chief sales and marketing officer. “It’s an almost perfect balance from a business-basketball standpoint.”
Guelli said getting two home games against the Cavaliers was a plus, particularly the New Year’s Eve date. Guelli also believes the home game the Saturday after Thanksgiving - against the New York Knicks - will be a big draw.
The Hornets will go a week without games between Feb. 15 and Feb. 22 for the All-Star break. The All-Star Weekend was originally scheduled for Charlotte in 2017, but the league moved the event over concerns involving the North Carolina law known as House Bill 2.
Bonnell: 704-358-5129; @rick_bonnell