Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Thanks to Brooklyn's big moves in free agency, the Knicks-Nets rivalry will be relevant again this season. And the Nets will see plenty of their crosstown rivals early in the year.
Brooklyn plays New York on Oct. 25 at the Barclays Center - the club's second game of the season - and travels to Madison Square Garden for the first time on Nov. 24.
There should be plenty of energy in both buildings after Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant - two of the Knicks' top targets in free agency - signed with Brooklyn in July.
Other games of note for Brooklyn in 2019-2020: Irving returns to Boston on Nov. 27. It will be his first trip to Boston since he left the Celtics for the Nets in free agency. Boston failed to meet expectations last season and some fans/media blamed Irving for that, so there should be an intense atmosphere at the TD Garden that night.
D'Angelo Russell returns to Brooklyn with the Golden State Warriors on Feb. 5. Russell, who helped lift the Nets to the playoffs last season, was dealt to Golden State in a sign-and-trade that finalized Durant's move to Brooklyn.
The Nets play at Golden State on March 12. Durant will be roughly nine months removed from Achilles surgery at that point. He's unlikely to return so soon from the surgery, but he didn't rule himself out of the entire season in an interview with Yahoo! Sports.
Brooklyn opens the season at home against Minnesota on Oct. 23.
A sign that the Nets appear to the on the rise? They have 12 games on one of the national networks this year (six on ESPN, six on TNT). They played just one nationally-televised game last season.
The Nets and Knicks also play in Brooklyn on Dec. 26 and conclude their four-game series on Jan. 26 at Madison Square Garden.
Also worth noting:
LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers will be in Brooklyn to face the Nets on Jan. 23.
James' visit last year to Barclays was entertaining. He was blocked on a dunk attempt by young center Jarrett Allen in a surprising Nets win. (Ex-Net and valued veteran leader Jared Dudley will also be back in Brooklyn on this night.)
Other noteworthy home games for the Nets? On Nov. 4, they will host the New Orleans Pelicans and top overall pick Zion Williamson. They host the Sixers - whom they lost to in the first round of the 2019 playoffs - on December 15 and on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 20).
The Nets have 11 back-to-back sets this season, a low number compared to past seasons.
This was a point of emphasis for the NBA. Instances of teams playing games on back-to-back days will be an all-time low for the fifth straight season, the league says. Teams will play an average of 12.4 back-to-backs in the 2019-20 season, down 36 percent since the 2014-15 season (19.3 per team) and a 7 percent reduction from last season (13.3 per team), per the league.
For the third season in a row, no team is scheduled to play a stretch with four games in five days.