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NBA Schedule 2016-17: Bucks open at home vs. Hornets on October 26, get Milwaukee-heavy start to season

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Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

It's here! It's here! The 2016-17 NBA schedule is here!

Let's go straight to the Milwaukee Bucks-related highlights:

  • Fresh off an underwhelming 33-win season, the Bucks are hoping to build some buzz heading into the fall of 2016, and in that regard they'll tip off the season at home against a fitting opponent: the perpetually-buzzing Charlotte Hornets (sorry guys, but I've got insect puns for days...).
  • The opener on Wednesday, October 26 begins a two-game homestand to start the season, with a clearly winnable matchup with the Nets at the BMO Harris Bradley Center on Saturday, October 29 before a two-game road trip to Detroit and New Orleans follows.
  • Overall, the Bucks play 14 of their first 21 games at home, including their only matchup with the Warriors on Saturday, November 19 and their first of two games against the world champion Cavaliers on Tuesday, November 29. Still, the home-heavy start should give the Bucks a chance to build some momentum in the first six weeks of the season, something they decidedly didn't do a year ago. Remember: the Bucks actually had the same home record last year (23-18) as in their 41-win season -- their 8-game drop-off came entirely on the road.
  • On the flip side, they finish the season with 12 of their final 17 games on the road, including a six-game Western road trip in mid-March. In other words, they'll need to be in the thick of the playoff race by March if they're going to have a chance of hanging on for a return to the postseason.
  • The Bucks and Bulls play a 48-hour home-and-home in Milwaukee on Thursday, December 15 and in Chicago on Friday, December 16.
  • Aside from the November 29 game, the Bucks also host LeBron James and the Cavs on Tuesday, December 20.
  • With nine total appearances on NBATV (6), ESPN (2) and TNT (1), the Bucks are tied with the Hornets and Grizzlies for the third fewest in the league. Only Philadelphia (5) and Orlando (4) will have fewer.

More calendar-related notes, starting with this from Bucks.com:

  • Nine games available to a national television audience, including two on ESPN (Jan. 6 vs. New York, March 15 at L.A. Clippers), one on TNT (Dec. 15 vs. Chicago), and the remaining six on NBA TV
  • A pair of home games against the reigning NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday, Nov. 29, and Tuesday, Dec. 20
  • The lone visit from the Western Conference Champion Golden State Warriors on Saturday, Nov. 19
  • Two home matchups against the rival Chicago Bulls on Thursday, Dec. 15, and Sunday, March 26
  • A Martin Luther King Jr. Day matinee against the Philadelphia 76ers on Jan. 16 The 2016-17 schedule features two road trips of four or more games, including a season-long six-game trip in March in which the Bucks will take on the Memphis Grizzlies, L.A. Clippers, L.A. Lakers, Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers and Sacramento Kings. This marks Milwaukee’s first road trip of six or more games since the 2009-10 season (Jan. 10-18, 2010). The Bucks have one four-game homestand from Dec. 3-9 featuring visits by Brooklyn, San Antonio, Portland and Atlanta.