The NBA released full schedules for the 2017-2018 season on Monday, and the Bucks have plenty of great matchups to get excited for. In an effort to reduce traveling stress on teams and give more recovery time for players, this season will begin a week earlier than in years past.
With Giannis Antetokounmpo leading the way, the Bucks will look to improve on their 42-40 record from last season. The team is expected by many to make a jump up in the Eastern Conference standings as the young core continues to improve. Here are some early marquee matchups to look forward to this season:
October 18th: Milwaukee Bucks @ Boston Celtics (Season Opener)
The Celtics had a great offseason that included signing star small forward Gordon Hayward from the Jazz and drafting highly touted prospect Jayson Tatum from Duke with the third overall pick. After claiming the top spot in the East only to fall in the Eastern Conference Finals to the Cavs, it will be interesting to see how Boston starts the new season with their key new players in the rotation.
October 20th: Cleveland Cavaliers @ Milwaukee Bucks (Home Opener)
After failing to defend their title against Golden State last season, the Cavs have had a bumpy offseason. GM David Griffin is no longer with the team, Kyrie Irving wants to be traded, and whispers of LeBron James leaving next offseason has left Cleveland struggling their way through the summer. Come October, with or without Kyrie, LeBron and the Cavs will present a great challenge for the Bucks during their last home opener at the Bradley Center. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN and the atmosphere will be rocking, fans won’t want to miss this game.
October 31st: Oklahoma City Thunder @ Milwaukee Bucks
The Thunder made headlines this summer by trading for superstar small forward Paul George from the Indiana Pacers. Partnering George with MVP Russell Westbrook, the Thunder will be one of the most entertaining teams to watch this season. On Halloween night, the nation will be watching as the Bucks host the Thunder in a nationally televised game on NBATV. The Bucks won last season’s matchup in Milwaukee and will look to treat their fans to another victory this year.
November 7th: Milwaukee Bucks @ Cleveland Cavaliers
In their first trip to Cleveland for the season, the Bucks will already have an idea of what to expect having played them just a few weeks back in Milwaukee. In another game nationally televised on NBATV, Giannis and LeBron will dual to fight for early season positioning in the East’s central division.
November 11th: Los Angeles Lakers @ Milwaukee Bucks
The Lakers are not expected to be a playoff team this year (just don’t tell Lavar that), but they will still be grabbing headlines left and right as Lonzo Ball tries to bring back the “Showtime” element that has been missing in LA for awhile now. The Bucks will try to take down the young Lakers and put on a show of their own in this Saturday night matchup at the Bradley Center.
November 20th: Washington Wizards @ Milwaukee Bucks
John Wall and company will be in town for a big home game for the Bucks. The Wizards are looking to step up and contend to win the East this year as young talents Bradley Beal and Otto Porter Jr. continue to develop into stars. The Bucks have a talented young core too, and will look to oust Washington and show the league they are a legitimate threat in the East.
November 30th: Milwaukee Bucks @ Portland Trail Blazers
To finish up the month of November, Milwaukee will take a four game road trip out west to play the Suns, Jazz, Kings and Blazers. The Bucks will look to show their resilience after the long week away from home and head back to Milwaukee with a win over Portland to close out the road trip. The game will be nationally broadcasted on NBATV as the Bucks look to stifle the high scoring backcourt of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum for the Blazers.
As the winter months arrive, everyone will have a better idea of where each team stands. Hopefully Milwaukee will get out to a hot start and carry on with it to have a great 2017-2018 season and make a deep playoff push.