2015-16 Brooklyn Nets Schedule Breakdown
The NBA schedule dropped last Thursday, giving those of us who follow sports a brief respite from baseball games and NFL training camp brawls, as we can begin to analyze the form the upcoming season will take. Here at Brooklyn’s Finest, we took some time to breakdown the schedule and offer some things to keep an eye out for, as well as those games to circle on the calendar. Let’s start with some stray observations:
- On The Road: Let’s just be upfront here, Lionel Hollins’ crew is looking at another long season. ESPN has them finishing 12th in the Eastern Conference with a 30-52 record. Not great Bob, indeed. Things get off to an intimidating start from opening day, which finds the Nets hosting the Chicago Bulls before playing 11 of their next 16 away from home. This gauntlet takes them through San Antonio, Memphis, Houston, Cleveland, Golden State and Oklahoma City. Let’s hope they brought some dramamine.
- Beware the Ides of March… and the rest of the month, too: That opening stretch looks rough, sure. But no month looks as bad as a March that sees them play 10 out of 15 games on the road, starting with the back half of their annual circus-induced road trip, which stretches from Febraury 23rd to March 11th and adds six games to that road tally.
- Unfriendly Confines: The schedule isn’t all doom and gloom, we promise. But when it rains, it pours, as even the Brooklyn homestands are just one elite squad after another. In December, defending champ Golden State kicks off a six-game homestand that includes the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers and Eastern Conference contender Miami stopping by. January 20th through the 26th sees Cleveland, Western Conference upstart Utah, Oklahoma City and Miami (again) all come under the watchful eye of the Oculus.
And now, on to five regular season games (plus one preseason bonus!) to circle - assuming you still have a physical calendar on which to circle things. I’m a Google Calendar guy myself. But I digress:
- Monday, October 5th, vs Fenerbahçe (Preseason): It may only be preseason, but Fenerbahçe is one of the top squads in Europe and features a fair share of NBA talent, including Ekpe Udoh, Jan Vesely (talent being used loosely here) and a familiar face from last year’s playoffs, Pero Antic. Nets SF Bojan Bagdanovic, a Fenerbahçe alum, gets to play his brother Bogdan, the 27th pick of the Phoenix Suns in last year’s draft.
- Friday, December 4th, @ New York: The league’s marquee city lacks an equally marquee rivalry, as most of the heat surrounding the Battle for New York is generated by marketing departments and not fans or history. Still, New York’s solid, if not glamorous, moves this offseason are a step in the right direction. Even better, one such move involved signing the Other Lopez, giving fans of both squads a chance to watch twins Brook and Robin go at it in the post for the first time at the Garden.
- Sunday, December 20th vs Minnesota: The Timberwolves have amassed a ridiculous amount of young, raw, athletic talent, between the past two overall No. 1 picks Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins (no, we’re not counting 2013 No. 1 Anthony Bennett, sorry) and 2014 13th overall pick Zach LaVine. If you haven’t heard, the Nets have a couple of dunkers themselves in best buds Markel Brown and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. There are worse ways to spend a cold Sunday afternoon than watching all of these guys try and outjump each other.
- Wednesday, December 23rd, vs. Dallas: After four and a half years, the Nets and Point Guard Deron Williams finally called it quits on their rocky relationship, as they negotiated a buyout this summer so Williams could sign with the Dallas Mavericks. His only chance to get a glimpse of the visitor’s locker room at the Barclays Center comes a couple of days before Christmas. In the true holiday spirit, expect a few boos to rain down come player introductions.
- Saturday, January 2nd @ Boston, Monday, January 4th vs. Boston, Wednesday, January 6th vs. Toronto: Any attempt to prove the doubters wrong and make a playoff push requires a competitive showing within the Atlantic Division. The Nets can start off 2016 on the right foot with a home-and-home tilt against Brad Stevens’ ever-improving Celtics before welcoming division heavyweights Toronto to the Barclays center. If the Nets can make some hay in this three game swing, it could provide them with some momentum for another playoff push. Side note: In an odd scheduling quirk, the Nets burn off their four games against the Celtics with two separate home-and-home series in December and January. Get your kicks in early.
- Sunday, April 3rd, vs. New Orleans: The final days of the season can bear excitement in a number of different ways. Every game matters for a handful of teams, whether they’re battling for playoff seeding or draft lottery odds. For Brooklyn fans, this is their one chance to see Anthony Davis as he continues his ascension into the stratosphere occupied by LeBron, Kevin Durant and…not much else. Whether or not the Nets still have anything to play for at this juncture of the season, welcoming The Brow to Barclays will move some tickets.