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NBA does no favors for Bucks
MILWAUKEE (BASN) — When the NBA released their 2010-11 schedule Tuesday, they weren’t kind to the Milwaukee Bucks at all.
Try asking any rookie on the Bucks who was drafted if they ever thought their college schedule last year was easy.
Now ask them how they would feel about playing 44 of the 82 games on back-to-back nights. Ask Brandon Jennings if he’s ready to play that schedule today.
On paper, it doesn’t look good. It’s time for the Bucks to brace themselves.
The first two regular season games are on the road, at New Orleans, Oct. 27, and at Minnesota, Oct. 29. Their first home game is Oct. 30, against Charlotte.
In November, the Bucks will get thrown into the lion’s den. They will play eight of the 14 teams that were in the playoffs. Two of those teams were in the NBA Finals.
On Nov. 2, Milwaukee hosts Portland, with former Marquette star Wesley Matthews. The next night, Nov. 3, they travel to Boston, NBA Finals runner-up, with newly-acquired Shaquille O’Neal, for their first nationally televised game on ESPN, one of only four on the network.
The NBA Champion L.A. Lakers will visit the Bradley Center, Nov. 16. The Bucks finish the Thanksgiving weekend with road games at Detroit and Utah and a home game against the Bobcats.
Orlando and Miami, with super free-agents LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, will be here on Dec. 4 and 6, respectively. Milwaukee will make stops in Dallas and San Antonio and go on a western swing later that month to play the Trailblazers and Lakers, both back-to-backs on Dec. 20 and 21, and conclude their trip two days before Christmas in Sacramento.
In January, Milwaukee will play the most games of any month, 17 total. Four back-to-backs are included, which are all home and away contests.
The NBA gods were a little easy on the Bucks in February. Nine out of 12 games involve teams who didn’t make the playoffs.
March’s schedule looks even. The Celtics will visit the BC in a game that will be carried by ESPN on Mar. 6. Phoenix and Sacramento will each make their only trip here.
They’re the only Western Conference teams scheduled in Milwaukee that month.
Milwaukee will finish the 2010-11 season with eight games in April, the same as last year, with an even number of home and away games. Six of those games are back-to-backs.
The Bucks will finish their season the way they started it, on the road at Oklahoma City. The other two games that will be on ESPN include a home contest against Denver, Feb. 16, and against the Heat, Apr. 6, on the road.
For making the playoffs and proving that they can play with the best of them, this is what the Bucks get. Since the schedule is laid out in front of them, the Bucks have to strap it up and go full speed.
If they duplicate a playoff spot, that will be another reason to “Fear the Deer.”