Charlotte Hornets

Hornets schedule analysis: Kemba Walker’s return and only 1 national TV game

Charlotte Hornets head coach James Borrego, left, only got to coach guard Kemba Walker for a year. Walker had his best season under Borrego in 2018-19, averaging more than 25 points per game and making third-team All-NBA.
Charlotte Hornets head coach James Borrego, left, only got to coach guard Kemba Walker for a year. Walker had his best season under Borrego in 2018-19, averaging more than 25 points per game and making third-team All-NBA. AP

In one of the earliest West Coast trips in franchise history, the Charlotte Hornets will play the Lakers and Clippers in back-to-back games the first week of the regular season.

The Lakers, with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, host the Hornets Oct. 27 at Staples Center. The Clippers, with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, host the Hornets one night later. On that same four-game trip, the Hornets play the Golden State Warriors and former Davidson star Stephen Curry Nov. 2 at the Warriors’ new San Francisco arena.

That trip to the NBA’s four California teams follows two Hornets home games to start the season: The opener is Oct. 23 at Spectrum Center against the Chicago Bulls, followed by a game two nights later against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Some key points to the 2019-20 Hornets schedule:

Former Hornets star Kemba Walker’s first game at Spectrum Center with the Boston Celtics is Nov. 7 at 8 p.m., and is nationally televised on TNT. That is the Hornets’ only scheduled appearance on TNT, ESPN or ABC this season. Not a big surprise, since losing three-time All-Star Walker in free agency severely weakens a team that hasn’t reached the playoffs in three seasons.

The second of two Celtics games in Charlotte is a 3 p.m. New Year’s Eve game.

Usually, the Hornets home schedule is front-loaded with home games. Less so this season, with two four-game trips in the first 16 games. In addition to that West Coast trip, the Hornets play four road games at New York, Toronto, Brooklyn and Washington in mid-November.

Warriors superstar Curry, who played at Davidson and Charlotte Christian, will have his one annual game in his hometown Dec. 4.

The Lakers — James always packs the house at Spectrum Center — are in Charlotte March 21.

MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks are in Charlotte only once this season, a 1 p.m. Sunday game on Mar. 1. That’s because the Hornets-Bucks game in Paris on Jan. 24 counts as one of 41 Hornets home games. That game in Paris is a homecoming for French native Nic Batum. There would have been two Frenchmen on the Hornets’ roster had Tony Parker chosen not to retire after last season.


Wed. 23CHICAGO7:00
Fri. 25MINNESOTA7:00
Sun. 27at L.A. Lakers9:30
Mon. 28at L.A. Clippers10:30
Wed. 30at Sacramento10:00


Sat. 2at Golden State8:30
Tue. 5INDIANA7:00
Thu. 7BOSTON8:00
Sun. 10at Philadelphia6:00
Wed. 13MEMPHIS7:00
Fri. 15DETROIT7:00
Sat. 16at New York7:30
Mon. 18at Toronto7:30
Wed. 20at Brooklyn7:30
Fri. 22at Washington7:00
Sat. 23CHICAGO7:00
Mon. 25at Miami7:30
Wed. 27DETROIT7:00
Fri. 29at Detroit7:00
Sat. 30at Milwaukee8:00


Mon. 2PHOENIX7:00
Fri. 6BROOKLYN7:00
Sun. 8ATLANTA5:00
Wed. 11at Brooklyn7:30
Fri 13at Chicago8:00
Sun. 15at Indiana5:00
Wed. 18at Cleveland7:00
Sat. 21UTAH5:00
Sun. 22at Boston6:00
Sun. 29at Memphis8:00
Tue. 31BOSTON3:00


Thu. 2at Cleveland7:00
Sat. 4at Dallas8:30
Mon. 6INDIANA7:00
Wed. 8TORONTO7:00
Fri. 10at Utah9:00
Sun. 12at Phoenix8:00
Mon. 13at Portland10:00
Wed. 15at Denver9:00
Mon. 20ORLANDO5:00
Fri. 24MILWAUKEE*3:00
Tue. 28NEW YORK7:00
Thu. 30at Washington7:00


Sat. 1at San Antonio9:00
Mon. 3ORLANDO7:00
Tue. 4at Houston8:00
Sat. 8DALLAS7:00
Mon. 10at Detroit7:00
Wed. 12at Minnesota8:00
Thu. 20at Chicago8:00
Sat. 22BROOKLYN7:00
Tue. 25at Indiana7:00
Wed. 26NEW YORK7:00
Fri. 28at Toronto7:30


Thu. 5DENVER7:00
Sat. 7HOUSTON5:00
Mon. 9at Atlanta7:30
Wed. 11at Miami7:30
Fri. 13CLEVELAND7:00
Sun. 15at Orlando6:00
Tue. 17at New York7:30
Sat. 21L.A. LAKERS7:00
Tue. 24PORTLAND7:00
Thu. 26at Oklahoma City8:00
Sat. 28L.A. CLIPPERS7:00
Mon. 30MIAMI7:00


Wed. 1at Orlando7:00
Fri. 3at Atlanta7:30
Sun. 5ATLANTA1:00
Tue. 7at New Orleans8:00
Wed. 8TORONTO7:00
Mon. 13MIAMI7:00
Wed. 15at Philadelphia7:30

Home games in CAPS. All times eastern and p.m.