It's everybody's favorite forgettable NBA-calendar holiday!
The league released official regular season schedules for all 30 teams Wednesday evening. As expected, there's one big departure from tradition for the Milwaukee Bucks right off the bat: they'll open the season at home, a first since 1984. The Bucks take on the Knicks at the BMO Harris Bradley Center on October 28th.
Milwaukee isn't yet at the level where they're getting marquee, nationally-televised games, but their profile is rising, and their exposure should rise in parallel. This season, Milwaukee will have 12 games broadcast on national networks, including three on ESPN and one on TNT -- their first appearance on TNT since the 02/03 season.
There are a few big games in the first month of the schedule, including a pair against the reigning Eastern Conference Champion Cleveland Cavaliers in mid-November. Then on November 23rd, Milwaukee will host the Detroit Pistons, which will mark Greg Monroe's first game against his former team. Monroe will make his return to Motor City on December 4th. Greivis Vasquez won't have to wait that long, returning to Toronto on November 1st in the Bucks' third game of the season.
The Bucks will close the season at home versus the Indiana Pacers. The previous three games are all on the road: Boston, Philadelphia, and Orlando. While each of those teams is likely to improve this season, a gelled Bucks outfit has a good chance to finish the season on a hot streak.
Overall, Milwaukee will log approximately 39,578 miles of air travel this season, the eighth fewest in the league. East teams are always on the lower end of the travel spectrum due to the relative proximity of opponents, but that figure is low by historical standards as well. Via NBASavant.com, The Bucks traveled a London-inflated 52,697 miles last year and 45,287 the year before. The calendar also features 20 back-to-backs, slightly above the league average of 17.8. They'll play Miami, Philly, Brooklyn and Atlanta three times, the remaining East teams four times, and (as always) all the Western teams twice.
From the Bucks' official release, here are a few other highlights from the 2015-2016 regular season schedule:
- The 2015 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors making their lone BMO Harris Bradley Center appearance on Saturday, Dec. 12
- Two home matchups against Central Division rival Chicago Bulls on Tuesday, Jan. 12, and Sunday, April 3
- Two five-game home stands after the All-Star break: The first from late February to early March with visits from Detroit, Houston, Indiana, Minnesota and Oklahoma City; and the second from late March to early April with games against Charlotte, Phoenix, Orlando, Chicago and Cleveland