The Milwaukee Bucks have MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo and several intriguing additions, including head coach Mike Budenholzer and a state-of-the-art arena, so there are plenty of reasons to watch every game. But here are a few matchups that stand out on the schedule.
Oct. 19 vs. Indiana Pacers
7:30 p.m. CT (Fox Sports Wisconsin)
The Bucks play their first regular-season game at Fiserv Forum against the Pacers. Milwaukee dropped its openers in its two previous buildings: a loss in 1968 to the Chicago Bulls at the MECCA and a defeat in 1988 to the Atlanta Hawks at the Bradley Center.
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Nov. 1 at Boston Celtics
7 p.m. (TNT)
The Celtics prevailed over the Bucks in a hard-fought, first-round playoff series last year. This is the first chance for the retooled Milwaukee team to measure itself against one of the favorites in the Eastern Conference. But this time Boston will probably have Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward.
Nov. 16 vs. Chicago Bulls
7:30 p.m (ESPN)
Mostly due to two torn ACLs, Jabari Parker never lived up to expectations as the Bucks’ No. 2 overall draft pick in 2014. The forward moved on by signing a two-year, $40 million deal with Chicago in the off-season. Parker was always beloved for his community work in Milwaukee, so he should still get a warm reception in his first regular-season game against his old team.
Dec. 25 at New York Knicks
11 a.m. (ESPN)
Thanks to the star power of Antetokounmpo, the Bucks will be playing on Christmas Day for the first time since 1977. The “Greek Freak” has also recorded some of his top highlights at Madison Square Garden, including a buzzer-beating jumper in 2017 and hurdling over Tim Hardaway Jr. last season.
March 19 vs. Los Angeles Lakers
7 p.m. (NBA TV)
LeBron James draws a crowd wherever he plays and interest should be even higher with the veteran superstar in his first season with the Lakers. Milwaukee will have to wait until March to get its only in-person glimpse at James in purple and gold in the regular season.
March 22 vs. Miami Heat
7:30 p.m. (Fox Sports Wisconsin)
Former Marquette star Dwyane Wade will be on a retirement tour as he plays one last NBA season with the Heat. Yes, Wade’s heroics at MU came at the Bradley Center but fans at Fiserv Forum will surely want to show their appreciation as Wade makes his final regular-season appearance in Milwaukee.
April 4 at Philadelphia 76ers
7 p.m. TNT
The 76ers are often viewed as the rising power in the Eastern Conference. The Bucks might have something to say about that this season and this might be a key game if the teams are jockeying for playoff position. This will be the Bucks’ final road game of the regular season before finishing with three games at Fiserv Forum.