The full NBA schedule has been released, and while the Brooklyn Nets only have two nationally televised games, there’s still going to be plenty of fun to be had at Barclays Center… beyond watching D’Angelo Russell, Jeremy Lin, Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen and co. carrying the Nets into their next (hopefully fun) iteration. SO! How about some reigning champs, some young teams on the verge of big things and a former humungous nerd Net? Here are ten home games with some of the most fun storylines to keep Nets fans entertained.
1. Nets vs CLEVELAND CAVALIERS: Oct. 25
Look. The Cavs might rest LeBron James even though it’s only four games into the regular season, but on the off chance they don’t, there’s still not a better spectacle in all of sports than seeing LeBron in person and in full flight. And sometimes King James brings royalty with him to Barclays. And also the future King and Queen of England. And if Kyrie Irving is still on the team, watching the discord between him, LeBron and the perpetually-pouting Kevin Love while JR tries to rustle up some old friends for an after-game trip to 1OAK, will be the most fun.
2. Nets vs DENVER NUGGETS: Oct. 29
Their weird ‘sky’ blue (c’mon, it’s baby blue) uniforms notwithstanding, this year’s Nugs are going to be fascinating. They added Paul Millsap in free agency to complement reigning ‘whoa, you’ve got to see that guy’ Nikola Jokić, and they have an array of super fun young dudes who are all bounce and gumption: Jamal Murray, Gary Harris, Will Barton, Emmanuel Mudiay, Kenneth Faried and ‘There’s Only’ Juan Hernangomez. Also, if Mason Plumlee is still on the team, it’s always fun to see KG’s former Net padawan.
3. Nets vs BOSTON CELTICS: Nov. 14 (& a Jan. 16 bonus)
If only because Nets fans get to see Gordon Hayward’s hair in person twice a year now.
4. Nets vs GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: Nov. 19
It might be a bit too much to ask that the Nets repeat their surprisingly competitive showings over the past couple of seasons against the now-reigning NBA champs, but still, obviously the Nets play Golden State kinda close, and considering they’re one of the teams Brooklyn is emulating with its run-and-gun spread-the-floor offense, it’ll be fun to see how they match up against the best in the business. Plus, y’know, there’s also the allure of seeing Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Draymond ‘Nut Cracker’ Green come to town and put on a basketball clinic… PLUS now we also get the one guy who won’t lend D’Angelo Russell his phone, Swaggy P!
5. Nets – NEW YORK KNICKERBOCKERS: Dec. 14
Gotham bragging rights haven’t been much to write about over the past three years (*cough* the Nets are 8-4 in that time *cough*), but still, each time the Knicks visit Barclays, the Borough war is real. Who can forget last year, with Kristaps Porzingis’ one-handed block of Spencer Dinwiddie… and the eventual Nets win… on Biggie Night… which was also the Nets first home win of the calendar year? The one big question will be what will all those Knicks fans be doing with their Carmelo jerseys at this point? Will they still wear them when he’s in Houston getting Mike D’Antoni fired a second time? Anyway, seeing the world’s favorite Latvian up close and personal, with his new rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina and, um, Tim Hardaway Jr (??) running a show that doesn’t involve Phil Jackson and his triangle? This will be fun.
6. Nets – MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES: Jan. 3
Not only are the Wolves one of the most exciting young teams, but it’s always fun to see at what point of the season Tom Thibodeau’s voice starts cracking. Oh, also, it’ll be fun to see how Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague and Taj Gibson all fit in with the Big KAT and Andrew Wiggins, and whether anyone on the Wolves will make a three-pointer by January.
7. Nets – PHILADELPHIA 76ERS: Jan. 31
It’s crazy that Nets fans have to wait so long into the season to see the Sixers because there’s no telling what could’ve befallen the Sixers by the end of January. Joel Embiid’s leg could’ve fallen off in a tragic Shirley Temple accident, Dario Saric could have back problems stemming from the weight of his marvellous moustache, Markelle Fultz could have knees problems stemming from his ballooning weight after taking up residence across the road from Geno’s Steaks, JJ Reddick may have a neck strain from the epic gold chain he bought to celebrate his one-year mega contract, and, well, at that point no one could’ve seen Jahlil Okafor in about three weeks but not said anything because everyone was kinda cool with it. Of course, they could also be stomping through the East as one of the league’s most fun young teams. So, y’know, both outcomes would be interesting.
8. Nets – LOS ANGELES LAKERS: Feb. 2
Between Brooklyn’s favorite giant nerd son and all-time leader in points, blocks, and field goals returning AND Magic Johnson’s parting shots at new Nets point guard D’Angelo Russell, this match up will feature more beef than an Arby’s lunch special. How much D-Loading will go for up against the franchise he was tabbed to save, only to be unceremoniously shown the door? How many triples will Brook launch? How much money will he spend at his favorite comic stores? How much trash can Nets fans talk about Lonzo Ball and his sucky shoes and loudmouth dad? How many times will Timofey Mozgov lay out a former teammate with an illegal screen? Will Brandon Ingram have bigger legs than my 2-year-old niece? It sucks it’s gonna take so long to answer these questions…
9. Nets – MILWAUKEE BUCKS: Feb. 4
Nets fans have pretty much stopped booing Jason Kidd when he’s introduced as Bucks coach… but if the Bucks under-perform to start the year, who knows if they’ll even have the chance by the time Feb 4. rolls around. Either way, the Bucks are one of the single most fun teams to see live in person, if only to see if Giannis Antetokounmpo can dunk from the three-point line or something.
10. Nets – HOUSTON ROCKETS: Feb. 6
If only to see if James Harden and Chris Paul get into a fist-fight on the court about who gets to bring the ball up.