by Cory Wright
August 14, 2017 | BrooklynNets.com
The NBA schedule was released on Monday evening and finally, the start of the season is in sight.
It’s been too long since we had Brooklyn Nets basketball in our lives and whatever way you slice it – six months, 190 days, 4,560 hours, 273,600 minutes – that’s too long to go between games. Our countdown to the season still has about two months to go, but it’s never too early to start planning your life from October to April.
We’re excited for all 82, but a few games stand out from the rest. Whether it’s a visit from the defending champs, a dramatic homecoming or two, or a rivalry renewed, here are 10 games we’re really looking forward to this season:
Season Opener (Oct 18 at Indiana):
This is a given. After patiently waiting all summer, the Brooklyn Nets are back and that’s worth getting hyped up for.
It’s a new season, but also a new lineup. There was a lot of turnover this summer, so we could see D’Angelo Russell, Allen Crabbe, DeMarre Carroll, Timofey Mozgov and Jarrett Allen make their Nets debuts. As for who Kenny Atkinson will put out as his starting five? Well, questions become answers on October 18.
Home Opener (Oct 20 vs Orlando):
The only thing better than the first Nets game of the season, the first home game. Rock your new Nets Nike jersey and some time with the Brooklyn Brigade.
And it’s a Friday. Get ready to turn it up at Barclays Center. #WeGoHard
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) August 14, 2017
Nets vs Cavs (Oct 25):
LeBron James and the Cavs have gone to three straight NBA Finals, so they remain the class of the Eastern Conference. Fifteen years into his career, LeBron still stakes his claim as the NBA’s best player. He’s worth the price of admission, but even beyond LeBron, the Cavs are an impressive team, though Cleveland’s roster could be dramatically reshaped by October. A new-look Cavs team would be interesting in its own right.
Nets at Lakers (Nov 3 – D’Angelo Russell Returns to LA, Brook Lopez vs Nets):
The NBA schedule makers wasted no time getting D’Angelo Russell back to Los Angeles. After getting traded from the Lakers in June, Russell returns in early November and there are plenty of storylines. Russell will have the opportunity to lead his new team against the franchise that drafted him and he’ll face off against this year’s no. 2 pick, Lonzo Ball.
Oh yeah, the Nets will also play against Brook Lopez for the first time, but more on Lopez later.
Nets at Trail Blazers (Nov 10 – Allen Crabbe Returns to Portland):
One road trip, two homecomings for the Nets, as Allen Crabbe also faces off against his former team. This will be Crabbe’s first chance to showcase in Portland what he can do with an expanded role and why the three-point marksman was Sean Marks’ man.
Nets vs Warriors (Nov 19)
The reigning NBA champs come to Brooklyn early this season and it’s a can’t-miss affair. It’s the one chance to see Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green in-person at Barclays Center. Last year, the Nets hung tough with the Warriors, taking a 16-point lead into the half. They are the NBA’s measuring stick and it’ll be a good litmus test for the Nets.
Or as they say, to be the man, you’ve got to beat the man.
Nets in Mexico (Dec 7, 9):
The Nets are going global.
The Nets will play two games in Mexico City this season, taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder on December 7 and the Miami HEAT on December 9.
The exotic location is enough to make these games buzzworthy, but adding the star power of reigning MVP Russell Westbrook and Paul George makes the Nets-Thunder game even more intriguing. Nets-HEAT should be a lot of fun, too.
A post shared by Brooklyn Nets (@brooklynnets) on Aug 14, 2017 at 3:06pm PDT
Nets vs Sixers (Dec 17):
The Sixers were already full of young talent before they drafted Markelle Fultz first overall this summer. While one first overall pick would bolster any lineup, the Sixers are adding a second, as top 2016 pick Ben Simmons gets set to make his NBA debut after sitting out last season with a foot injury. Between Fultz, Simmons and Joel Embiid, the Sixers are no doubt an intriguing team. Plus, it’s a key divisional game for the Nets.
Nets vs Knicks (Jan 15 – MLK Day):
These games would be fun even if they played at Rucker Park, but the atmosphere is never better than when these games are at Barclays Center. The split crowd brings out the dueling chants provide enough electricity to power downtown Brooklyn. It’s also one of the few day games on the Nets schedule, so come out and enjoy some matinee basketball.
Nets vs Lakers (Feb 18 – Brook Lopez’s Return):
Well this one’s going to be emotional.
We will have already seen Brook Lopez in a Lakers jersey by this point, but his return to Brooklyn will undoubtedly be an emotional moment for him and the fans. Seeing him on the visitor’s bench for the first time should draw some strange feelings, but expect some tributes to the Nets all-time leading scorer. After giving us eight years, expect a long standing ovation when he returns.