If you are reading this hot off the press, the Bucks open their 2012-13 regular season three months from tonight. They start on the road, for the 28th consecutive season. The Bradley Center buzzes one night later.
Here is really why I wrote a little bit about every upcoming game: looking back and looking forward and looking every direction at the NBA sets me into a good mood. But the best part about writing this article is knowing that you never really know. You can write a 617-word preview about a game without mentioning the player who goes on to block eight shots. And feel good about it.
Nonetheless. A few words about why to care, care, care about the first 41 games. Two sentence max.
Nov. 2: @Celtics
The season opener tips off in at 100 Legends Way in Boston against the team that pushed the champion Heat to the brink. This feels like the place to mention that this season will mark a final title run for the aging Celtics, but I wouldn’t want to have to write that again before next season.
Nov. 3: Cavaliers
You might recall that Monta Ellis scored 16 straight points in the fourth quarter the last time that the Cavaliers visited Milwaukee.
Nov. 7: Grizzlies
An early frontcourt test for new center Samuel Dalembert, against Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, and company. The Grizzlies outrebounded the Bucks 58-39 in a win in their lone visit last season.
Nov. 9: @Wizards
The Bucks defeated the Wizards three times out of four last season, but there are lots of new faces in the nation’s capital. In fact, twenty-one year old John Wall is the longest tenured player on the Wizards.
Nov. 10: Celtics
For the first time in a long time, Ray Allen will not join the Celtics on a trip to Milwaukee, as the former Bucks shooting guard signed with the Heat this offseason.
Nov. 12: @76ers
Will the 76ers race out of the gates again this season? They won nine of 10 early on last season, the final win of that run coming against the Bucks.
Nov. 14: Pacers
Worried about losing momentum after a stellar season, the Pacers handed Roy Hibbert a maximum contract this offseason. Now expectations are elevated for both the Pacers and Hibbert.
Nov. 17: Hornets
First overall draft pick Anthony Davis pays a first visit to Milwaukee against fellow shot-blocking rookie John Henson.
Nov. 19: @Bobcats
The Bucks began last season by inauspiciously falling on the road to the Bobcats, who went on to post the worst record in NBA history. Let’s not repeat that.
Nov. 21: @Heat
The Bucks beat the Heat on the road early last season, holding the champs to just 82 points.
Nov. 24: Bulls
Derrick Rose is out with a torn ACL, so the Bulls figure to look more like the team that lost in the first round of the playoffs than the one that posted the best record in the NBA last season. That is good news for the Bucks, who have lost eight straight games to their southern neighbors.
Nov. 26: @Bulls
But keep in mind that the Bulls went 13-6 at the United Center without Rose last season. So don’t expect them to be pushed over.
Nov. 28: Knicks
The Knicks played approximately six mini-seasons in less than one full season last year. Not only are they pure entertainment, they are inherently beatable.
Nov. 30: @Timberwolves
Ricky Rubio, recovering from ACL surgery, is expected to be back by this time. Jennings got the better of him, and the win, in their first matchup last season.
Dec. 1: Celtics
Three Celtics games within a month of the start of the season. Kevin Garnett tends to keep things from getting stale.
Dec. 3: @Hornets
This one will be televised on NBATV, for our out-of-state friends.
Dec. 5: @Spurs
The Bucks beat the Spurs last year in their only matchup last season, and they have managed a 13-14 record against Tim Duncan since he was drafted in 1997. That is the best record of any team against Duncan in his career – yes, I just checked his career record against every other team in the NBA, and yes, this means Duncan has a winning record against every NBA team.
Dec. 7: Bobcats
Let’s just get straight to the point here: It is nice to see a win, and this should be a win.
Dec. 9: @Nets
Can Brandon Jennings shine under the lights in Brooklyn as brightly as in Manhattan? It is probably worth finding out.
Dec. 12: Kings
As a rookie, Tyreke Evans drove for a game-winner against to beat the Bucks 96-95 at the Bradley Center. Evans and Brandon Jennings have not met again in Milwaukee since then.
Dec. 14: @Cavaliers
Brandon Jennings and Kyrie Irving could not stop each other last season.
Dec. 15: Clippers
The NBA is a point guard’s world these days. And on this night, the best one of all, Chris Paul, makes his lone visit to Milwaukee.
Dec. 18: Pacers
Happy birthday to my dad. Take your dad to a Bucks game on my dad’s birthday, or perhaps more appropriately, on your dad’s birthday.
Dec. 19: @Grizzlies
Brandon Jennings has averaged more points – 23.8 – against the Grizzlies than against any other team during his career thus far. Nice timing for a game on ESPN.
Dec. 21: @Celtics
Watch this and then watch Rondo. And don’t be late.
Dec. 22: Cavaliers
Will this be the night for the annual Drew Gooden triple-double against the Cavaliers? The power forward has improbably posted triple doubles in two straight seasons against his former team.
Dec. 26: Nets
This night was opening night last season. Cheers to no lockout.
Dec. 29: Heat
The Bucks took two out of three from the Heat last season, including the most memorable game of the year – a 105-97 comeback win at home.
Dec. 30: @Pistons
Greg Monroe carved up the Bucks for a season-high 32 points on 12-16 shooting in a win at the Bradley Center last season. The team added Samuel Dalembert for times like this.
Jan. 2: Spurs
The Bucks ring in 2013 by hosting the Spurs. How many more years will we have the chance to watch Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker play together?
Jan. 4: Rockets
More Jeremy Lin jerseys were sold than jerseys of Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, or Kevin Durant in 2011-12. And here they are, already outdated – or maybe just retro?
Jan. 5: @Pacers
The last time the Bucks visited Indiana, the Pacers completed a season sweep and all but ended Milwaukee’s playoffs hopes. The Pacers are essentially where the Bucks want to be.
Jan. 8: Suns
It is post-Steve Nash Era in Phoenix. And that is just fine – the Bucks went 2-14 against him.
Jan. 9: @Bulls
Monta Ellis has averaged a personal-best 25.1 points against the Bulls in his career. So that bodes well.
Jan. 11: Pistons
The Bucks made easy work of the Pistons in two home wins last season.
Jan. 13: @Raptors
The start of a six-game road trip – their longest of the season – begins in Toronto, a gorgeous city, so I discovered this summer. The Bucks went 0-5 on their longest road trip last season, which you will probably be reminded of again around this time.
Jan. 15: @Lakers
Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash have been stars this entire century – both players turned it up to another level in 2000-01. Now they share a backcourt.
Jan. 17: @Suns
The Bucks have not won in Phoenix since 1987. Here is the boxscore of that game.
Jan. 19: @Blazers
Player to stay up late for and watch: Rookie point guard Damian Lillard, who dazzled in Summer League, winning co-MVP honors.
Jan. 22: @76ers
The Bucks battled the 76ers for a playoff spot last season, and both teams figure to be in the mix again this season.
Jan. 25: @Cavaliers
Not the worst foe for the end of a road trip. The Bucks went 4-0 and scored 107+ in every game versus the Cavaliers last season – although the caveat is that Kyrie Irving only played in one of those games.
My passions? Writing and the Bucks, to start. So it is good to be here. I have reported on media row for just about every Bucks home game since 2009-10 – almost all of that time writing for BrewHoop. I have also written for the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club, SB Nation, ESPN Milwaukee, Slam Online, etc. You can follow me on Twitter @alexboeder or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.