2009-2010 brings hope and possibilities for the Charlotte Bobcats and their fans.
Could this be the year that the Bobcats make their first ever playoff appearance? Who will win the Tyson Chandler, Emeka Okafor trade? Which local product will return a hometown hero?
Here's a look ahead at 10 of the most intriguing dates on the Charlotte Bobcats' upcoming 2009-2010 scedule that may help determine all of the above.
Home opener verses the New York Knicks.
Year two of the Mike D’Antoni and Donnie Walsh regime. Walsh, Larry Brown’s former coaching assistant, returns to face his former mentor, while Brown is still trying to get over the failure he endured in New York.
A win here helps the cause.
At home verses the Cleveland Cavaliers.
This is the Bobcats’ first look at King James and The Big Diesel, side by side.
The Cavs hope Shaq can provide LBJ with the same sort of results as Kobe and D-Wade…a ring. The reigning Eastern Conference champs, with the addition of future Hall of Fame center O’Neal, provide an early measuring stick for Larry Brown and his revamped roster.
Home verses the Orlando Magic.
Larry Brown and the Bobcats are hoping that Tyson Chandler’s height and athleticism will help hold Dwight Howard to the 12 PPG he average against New Orleans while Chandler roamed the block.
This would be a marked improvement from the 18 PPG Howard averaged against the Emeka Okafor centered Bobcats. With Howard secure as a dominant figure in the east for the foreseeable future, Chandler must prove his worth. This will be the first of many tests.
Former Tar Heel Vince Carter’s offseason arrival figures to loosen things up in the middle for Howard. Charlotte will have to find an answer if they are ever going to compete for the East.
At home verses the Indiana Pacers. Henderson, a former Blue Devil made national headlines in March of 2007 by breaking the nose of former Tar Heel Tyler Hansbrough.
Both rookies will be looking to make their name in the NBA. Hansbrough stole the headlines in college.
Henderson hopes to have the upper hand in the pros. Welcome to Chapter 1.
At home verses the Sacramento Kings.
Jettisoned in the offseason by the Bobcats, May, a former Final Four MVP and 13th overall pick returns to face his old team.
After 4 years of battling injuries and weight issues, May just couldn’t find his way on the court for Bobcats’ coach Larry Brown.
Assuming his injury and weight issues are behind him, playing time for the lowly Kings should be in store for May.
May makes his Charlotte return and attempts to show Brown and the Bobcats that they have made a mistake.
At home verses the New Orleans Hornets.
Since ditching Charlotte in hopes of a sweeter deal, the Hornets annual trek back to the Queen City has invoked a multitude of emotions among many Charlotteans.
The Bobcats latest offseason move of sending their first ever draft pick and former Rookie of the Year, Emeka Okafor to New Orleans should serve to stoke those emotions.
In exchange for Okafor, the Bobcats received former prep phenom Tyson Chandler. Fair or unfair, Chandler will be judged by Bobcats fans for his performance against Okafor on this night.
At home verses the LA Lakers.
A multitude of storylines. Kobe Bryant? Ron Artest? The return of Adam Morrison? Last year’s sweep of LA? The defending champs are rolling into town. Enough said.
At home verses the Golden State Warriors
After his stellar career at Davidson, many Charlotte fans drooled over the possibility of the local product nailing threes for the Bobcats in ’09.
It simply was not to be. Curry ended up going No. 7 overall to Golden State, leaving local fans out in the cold.
As a long time Charlotte Hornet, father Dell Curry helped make the Curry name beloved in Charlotte. The Davidson and Curry faithful will undoubtedly turn out in droves to support one of their own.
At home verses the LA Clippers.
The 2009 first overall pick, Blake Griffin, in his only trip to Charlotte. Is Griffin the real deal or just the next Olowokandi? Al Thornton returns to ACC country.
Hey, it's the Clippers. It's the best I could come up with.
At home verses the Detroit Pistons.
Larry Brown faces the team he led to an NBA Championship in 2004. While the majority of the Detroit roster has been turned over since the glory days of 2004, Detroit figures to be in contention for this year's eighth and final seed in the East.
This game could determine who's in and who's out of the 2010 playoffs.