A Christmas Day game vs. the Boston Celtics and a star-powered opening night matchup highlight the Bucks' 2022-23 schedule

·7 min read
Bobby Portis and the Milwaukee Bucks are scheduled to meet Grant Williams and the Boston Celtics at 4 p.m. Dec. 25 in Boston.
Bobby Portis and the Milwaukee Bucks are scheduled to meet Grant Williams and the Boston Celtics at 4 p.m. Dec. 25 in Boston.

The NBA released its full 2022-23 schedule on Wednesday, and the Milwaukee Bucks will come off their first full offseason since 2019 with an opening night contest against the Philadelphia 76ers at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 20 at Wells Fargo Arena.

Let’s look at some of the highlights and quirks of this season’s schedule:

Primetime games

With title hopes and Giannis Antetokounmpo coming off perhaps two of his best seasons after winning two most valuable player awards, the Bucks remain an attraction for the league’s television partners with 32 games on national broadcasts.

Oct. 20 at Philadelphia (TNT), 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 26 vs. Brooklyn (ESPN), 6:30 p.m.

Nov. 4 at Minnesota (ESPN), 9 p.m.

Nov. 18 at Philadelphia (ESPN), 6:30 p.m.

Nov. 27 vs. Dallas (NBATV), 7 p.m.

Dec. 2 vs. Los Angeles Lakers (ESPN), 6:30 p.m.

Dec. 9 at Dallas (ESPN), 9 p.m.

Dec. 13 vs. Golden State (TNT), 6:30 p.m.

Dec. 15 at Memphis (NBATV), 7 p.m.

Dec. 25 at Boston, (ABC/ESPN), 4 p.m.

Jan. 3 vs. Washington (NBATV), 7 p.m.

Jan. 4 at Toronto (ESPN), 6:30 p.m.

Jan. 11 at Atlanta (ESPN), 6:30 p.m.

Jan. 14 at Miami (ABC), noon.

Jan. 17 vs. Toronto (TNT), 6:30 p.m.

Jan. 29 vs. New Orleans (NBATV), 7 p.m.

Feb. 2 vs. Los Angeles Clippers (TNT), 9 p.m.

Feb. 6 at Portland (NBATV), 9 p.m.

Feb. 9 at Los Angeles Lakers (TNT), 9 p.m.

Feb. 14 vs. Boston (TNT), 6:30 p.m.

Feb. 16 at Chicago (TNT), 6:30 p.m.

Feb. 24 vs. Miami (ESPN), 6:30 p.m.

Feb. 26 vs. Phoenix (ABC), noon.

March 4 vs. Philadelphia (ABC), 7:30 p.m.

March 9 vs. Brooklyn (TNT), 6:30 p.m.

March 11 at Golden State (ABC), 7:30 p.m.

March 14 at Phoenix (NBATV), 9 p.m.

March 19 vs. Toronto (NBATV), 7 p.m.

March 27 at Detroit (NBATV), 6 p.m.

March 30 vs. Boston (TNT), 6:30 p.m.

April 5 vs. Chicago (ESPN), 6:30 p.m.

April 7 vs. Memphis (NBATV), 7 p.m.

RELATED: 2022-23 Milwaukee Bucks schedule

Election off day throughout the NBA

The NBA announced Nov. 8 will be clear of league action to “focus on promoting nonpartisan civic engagement and encouraging fans to make a plan to vote during midterm elections.”

Shipping off to Boston for Christmas Day

The Bucks will head to TD Garden on Christmas Day to face the Boston Celtics for the first time since being eliminated by them in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Boston remains in the offseason discussion regarding a potential trade for Brooklyn star Kevin Durant, but even if that move is not made the Celtics are the reigning conference champs and added former Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon, the 2017 NBA rookie of the year, and veteran forward Danilo Gallinari.

Stocking stuffers? Both the Bucks and Packers play on the holiday

The NBA used to be synonymous with Christmas Day, but the NFL is drifting hard into that lane. Following the merger between the NFL and the AFL in 1970, the NFL did not schedule a regular season game on Dec. 25 until 1989. It wasn’t until 2004 that the league started scheduling more than one regular season game, and last year the NFL went with a tripleheader.

As it was last year, Green Bay is once again a showcase game for its league on Dec. 25 vs. Miami, which will be the Packers’ fourth Christmas Day game.

The Bucks will travel to Boston to play the Celtics on Christmas Day, marking the second straight year the two teams were chosen as a marquee game for the NBA. It is also the Bucks’ ninth game on Dec. 25 and fifth season in a row on the schedule.

Last year the Bucks tipped off at 2:30 p.m. and the Packers kicked off against the Browns at 3:30 p.m. This year the Bucks and Celtics will get started at 4 p.m. after the Packers and Dolphins at noon.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks open Oct. 30 in Philadelphia against Joel Embiid and the 76ers. That game and two others could help either of them stake a claim to the league MVP award.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks open Oct. 30 in Philadelphia against Joel Embiid and the 76ers. That game and two others could help either of them stake a claim to the league MVP award.

An MVP showdown for the Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo and 76ers' Joel Embiid?

Denver’s Nikola Jokić has won back-to-back MVPs, following in Antetokounmpo’s footsteps, but Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid has been the runner-up each time and the 76ers big man has not been shy about his desire to win the award. Perhaps helping his case — and his team’s as the best in the East — is a reportedly rededicated James Harden and roster additions P.J. Tucker and Danuel House Jr.

Philadelphia has pushed its chips to the center of the table this season, and the Bucks will play them to open the season on Oct. 20 in Philadelphia and two other times on national television.

Longest home stand for the Bucks

After the opener, the Bucks will have a great chance to make an early impression with a half dozen straight from Oct. 22 through Nov. 2 at Fiserv Forum against Houston, Brooklyn, New York, Atlanta and Detroit (twice).

Longest road trip for the Bucks

Milwaukee has five straight games (Dec. 19-28) away from Fiserv Forum beginning in New Orleans and ending in Chicago. Interestingly, the Bucks will not have an extended West Coast trip this year, instead playing sets of three games against Western Conference foes. Per the NBA, "the estimated average miles traveled for the 2022-23 regular season has been reduced to 41,000 miles per team, a record low in the era with 30 teams and 82 games per team. This marks an estimated reduction of nearly 2,000 miles per team from last season’s previous all-time low of 43,000 miles traveled."

Back-to-back check: 12 pairs of games on consecutive nights

The Bucks went 7-4 on the back end of back-to-backs last season, and they will find themselves navigating 12 pairs of consecutive games this season. The toughest sets would appear to be Dec. 2-3 when they take on the Lakers at home and then head out to Charlotte. The league stacked some tough road sets together, beginning Feb. 9-10 playing the Lakers and Clippers on consecutive nights in Los Angeles, March 13-14 at Sacramento and at Phoenix and March 24-25 at Utah and Denver.

Better this year than last

“Quick” turnarounds don’t happen often in the NBA, but a couple of games this year look like they will more interesting than they were a year ago.

The two games against the Los Angeles Clippers (Feb. 2 in Milwaukee, Feb. 10 in Los Angeles) will be appointment viewing. The Clippers may not only have star Kawhi Leonard back after a season lost to injury but fellow star Paul George may play the Bucks for the first time since Feb. 28, 2021.

While Minnesota was a playoff team last year and beat the Bucks twice — including at a raucous Target Center on March 19 that saw players from both teams ejected — the Timberwolves added Rudy Gobert in one of the summer’s biggest deals. No doubt Minnesota’s moves will ratchet up the interconference heat between stately neighbors, who play Nov. 4 in Minnesota and Dec. 30 at Fiserv.

Locally flavored champs with the Golden State Warriors

We cannot forget the pair of games against the “Wisconsin west” Golden State Warriors, who are not only the defending NBA champions and league standard bearers – but also include Milwaukee natives Kevon Looney and Jordan Poole, Wisconsin native and former UW-Milwaukee player Patrick Baldwin Jr. and former Bucks guard Donte DiVincenzo.

The Warriors will be a great measuring stick game regardless of all the local ties from the front office to the coaching staff to the roster, but it does add some flavor to the games Dec. 13 in Milwaukee and March 11 in San Francisco.

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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Bucks schedule released, Milwaukee to play Celtics on Christmas Day