10/30 @ Houston Rockets
The Bobcats will get the first crack at the offseason’s biggest winners—the Houston Rockets. By adding Dwight Howard to a nucleus of James Harden, Chandler Parsons and Omer Asik, many expect the Rockets to be contenders in the Western Conference. The Bobcats lost both matchups last season to the Rockets, but with Al Jefferson in the middle, a clash of two of the league’s top centers will make for a fun opening night.
11/15 @ Cleveland Cavaliers
This game might not make everyone’s list, but the Cavaliers look like a very interesting team. With a young nucleus that includes Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson and the first pick overall Anthony Bennett, the Cavaliers could really explode this year. They added Andrew Bynum and Jarrett Jack in the offseason, and Anderson Varejao will return after a season ending injury. This is a young team with a good mix of veteran talent and with Mike Brown back in charge, they could be very good defensively.
11/16 vs. Miami Heat
There’s always a buzz when the defending NBA champions are in the Queen City. The Miami Heat narrowly squeaked out victories over the Bobcats at Time Warner Cable Arena the past two seasons. The Bobcats have done a good job playing up to the competition and will surely try doing the same in what should be another packed house.
11/20 vs. Brooklyn Nets
This will be the first matchup with the new-look Brooklyn Nets, following their acquisitions of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry. The Nets look like a championship contender on paper and are sporting one of the largest luxury tax bills in the league. Many are curious as to whether this group of current and former all-stars can mesh under the tutelage of rookie head coach Jason Kidd.
12/14 vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Traditionally, the Bobcats have always given the Lakers trouble. This season projects as one of the weakest Lakers teams in quite some time after the losses of Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace. The Bobcats almost ended their losing streak against the Lakers last season at Staples Center, but were unable to execute on the last play of regulation. In Charlotte, the Bobcats also had the Lakers number, but couldn’t close the deal. Lakers fans always travel well, so this should be another fun game in front of a sellout crowd.
12/27 vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
Another star studded team that will bring a good crowd to TWC Arena. Kevin Durant and the Thunder made easy work of the Bobcats last season.
12/30 @ Utah Jazz
Al Jefferson will return to Salt Lake City just before New Year’s Eve to face a now rebuilding Utah Jazz team. Jefferson spent three seasons with the Jazz and helped lead the team to a playoff berth in 2012. The Jazz decided not to re-sign Jefferson or Paul Millsap in the offseason and will likely test out Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter as their new frontcourt.
1/1 @ Los Angeles Clippers
This will be the Bobcats first look at Doc Rivers’ spin on Lob City. The Clippers won the Pacific Division last season for the first time in franchise history and should continue to get better with Rivers at the helm. Hometown star Chris Paul will continue to run the show after re-signing with the Clippers for $108 million. We’ll see how Kemba Walker can match up with one of the league’s premier point guards.
2/8 vs. San Antonio Spurs
The Western Conference Champions make their only trip to Charlotte. There won’t be many more times for Bobcats fans to see future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan in person, with retirement not too far around the corner.
4/16 vs. Chicago Bulls
This will be the last game for the Charlotte Bobcats before they become the Charlotte Hornets. They could either be fighting for a playoff spot on the last game of the season, or looking towards a high lottery pick. Regardless of what it is, this will be the swan song for Rufus and the last stop to Buzz City.