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Ten New Orleans Hornets Games to Watch in 2011-12
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
July 19, 2011



With the official release of the 2011-12 NBA schedule, its time for Hornets fans to get out their calendars and start jotting down a few important dates on the docket. Heres a list of 10 of the most interesting games on New Orleans slate:

Wednesday, Nov. 2 vs. Chicago
In the Hornets regular season opener, theyll host a Bulls team that finished with the best record in the NBA last season at 62-20. Hornets head coach Monty Williams and Bulls counterpart Tom Thibodeaux are both coming off outstanding NBA debut seasons as leaders of their respective clubs.


Sunday, Nov. 6 at Los Angeles Lakers
Its the first rematch from the 2011 playoffs, when the Hornets battled the then-two-time defending NBA champions before falling in six games. This will be New Orleans visit to Los Angeles to face the Lakers, though they play against the Clippers twice at Staples Center.



Wednesday, Nov. 9 vs. Miami
Last seasons home game against the Heat was one of the Hornets most thrilling and dramatic victories during NOLAs team-record 8-0 start. The defending Eastern Conference champions split with New Orleans last season.



Thursday, Nov. 24 at Los Angeles Clippers
For only the second time in franchise history, the Hornets are scheduled to play on Thanksgiving. In November 2008, the Hornets won at Denver on Turkey Day. This is the first of two national TV games for the Hornets and their lone appearance on TNT.



Wednesday, Dec. 21 vs. Dallas
New Orleans faces the defending NBA champion Mavericks, in the first of four matchups during the 2011-12 regular season. Despite being one of the leagues most successful teams in recent years, Dallas is winless in New Orleans since March 27, 2007, a span of 11 games (including the 08 playoffs).



Friday, Dec. 23 vs. San Antonio
Two days before Christmas, the Spurs make their first visit to New Orleans of 2011-12. The Hornets split their season series with the Spurs last season, including a 96-72 victory against their Southwest Division rivals, arguably NOLAs best performance of the 2010-11 campaign.



Monday, Jan. 2 at Miami
In a road trip necessitated by the Sugar Bowl being played in New Orleans on Jan. 3, the Hornets will be on South Beach for the first two days of 2012. Two of the youngest head coaches in the league, Monty Williams and Erik Spoelstra, will square off on the sideline.



Friday, Feb. 17 at New York
In the second of the Hornets two national TV appearances, ESPN will broadcast live from Madison Square Garden. New Orleans closes the pre-All-Star break portion of the schedule with a four-game road trip that includes stops in Cleveland, New York, Indiana and Dallas.



Tuesday, Feb. 28 at Chicago
After a six-day hiatus due to the NBA All-Star break, the Hornets visit the Windy City for the second of their two matchups against the Bulls. Hornets GM Dell Demps and Bulls counterpart Gar Forman both executed a series of moves in the 2010 offseason to vastly improve their rosters.



Sunday, April 15 vs. Memphis
In the Hornets last home game of 2011-12, they host the Grizzlies in the teams traditional FANtastic FANale. New Orleans and Memphis finished in a virtual tie for third place last season, both 46-36. The Hornets close the regular season with three straight games vs. Southwest Division foes.



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