Celtics spice up preseason schedule with games vs. Hornets

The Boston Celtics will break up their typically bland exhibition slate this fall with a home-and-home preseason series against the Charlotte Hornets.

Outside of overseas trips, the Celtics haven't strayed from Atlantic Division opponents in recent years. That changes this preseason when Boston treks to Greensboro, North Carolina -- site of the Hornets' new NBA Development League entry -- for a game Oct. 6. The two teams then play an afternoon game two days later at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

It's otherwise all Atlantic Division foes for the Celtics this preseason. Boston opens exhibition play Oct. 4 with a matchup against No. 1 pick Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers at the Mullins Center on the campus of UMass-Amherst.

The Celtics play the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks on their opponents' home turfs -- Oct. 13 at the Barclays Center and Oct. 15 at Madison Square -- before hosting the Nets and Knicks at TD Garden to close out their seven-game preseason schedule.

Boston's exhibition slate will be the first honest-to-goodness chance to see free-agent signee Al Horford and No. 3 pick Jaylen Brown in a Celtics uniform. Boston should be an intriguing team to watch in the preseason, with heavy competition for final roster spots as the team is already carrying more than the regular-season limit of 15 guaranteed contracts.