Five key elements in analyzing the Charlotte Hornets’ 2015-16 schedule released Wednesday:
The Hornets will play 16 sets of games in back-to-back nights. That represents more than a third of the 82-game schedule, but it’s fewer than some recent seasons. Last season, the Hornets played an NBA-high 22 sets of back-to-backs.
Also, two other factors reduce some of the wear-and-tear that back-to-backs represent: Two of those sets of back-to-backs are home games, eliminating the fatigue associated with travel. And the Hornets have no instances of four games in five nights this season, which used to happen regularly.
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The NBA specifically tried to minimize those four games-in-five-days instances. Last season there were 70 league-wide; this season 27.
The Hornets request a lot of weekend games, as the franchise doesn’t typically draw as well early in the work week. This season they have 18 of 41 homes games on Friday (seven), Saturday (eight) or Sunday (three).
A bit different home opener
The first game at Time Warner Cable Arena – the third overall game on the schedule – is on a Sunday (Nov. 1) at 2 p.m. against the Atlanta Hawks.
The Hornets don’t typically play many day games or Sunday games, particularly during the NFL season. But the Carolina Panthers don’t play that Sunday. They instead play the Indianapolis Colts on “Monday Night Football.”
West Coast travel
The Hornets take two four-game trips out West, both in January. They play the Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets first, then the Sacramento Kings, Utah Jazz, Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Lakers later in the month.
That Clippers-Nuggets set is a particularly rough back-to-back: Fly from the West Coast time zone to Mountain Time without a day off and then play a game in high altitude.
The Hornets anticipate a total 39,722 miles traveling over the course of their 41 road games.
Home and road
The longest home stand is seven games between Nov. 18 and Dec. 2. The Hornets often play a lot of home games in November and December since they typically have to vacate Time Warner Cable Arena some in February and March to accommodate college basketball there.
The Hornets don’t play a home game between Feb. 9 and March 1. They play six road games in that span and also are off eight days for the All-Star break.
Rick Bonnell: 704-358-5129; @rick_bonnell