Last year, I broke down the Nets’ schedule game by game and tried to predict the amount of wins the Nets would have. Let’s just say I finished way off. It was fun though and sparked a lot of discussion, so this year we are going ahead and doing it again. This time though, we are going to have all of the NetsAreScorching writers take 20 games, hopefully evening things out and making our prediction closer. Here we go:
October 27 vs Detroit
The Nets have a chance at preventing a long losing streak to start the season before it even starts with their game against Detroit. Also, with recent news, it is going to be T-Mac’s first game with the Pistons, but I am more interested in two other things. The first, how the Prudential Center fills up. Would loved to have seen a big team come in here for opening night, to ensure a sellout, but it is going to be interesting to see how many people come to see the Nets now that there is an area within reach. Also, Greg Monroe vs. Brook Lopez/Derrick Favors. Favors seems to be the starter, and he gets a early chance to prove that he was deserving of the #3 pick against a player that went a few picks after him. Nets win. 1-0.
October 29 vs Sacramento
Right after the Favors/Monroe matchup, DeMarcus Cousins comes into town for what will be an even more hyped battle. Even though these two are going to be who everyone talks about, they probably won’t be matched up against each other. Brook and DeMarcus is going to be fun to watch, because both big men are guys who have a ton of potential and are true NBA centers. With all that being said, Tyreke Evans is going to steal the show, especially going against Devin Harris, since Devin struggles with the bigger guards. Kings take this one. 1-1.
October 31 vs Miami
And right after two pretty good rookie matchups, the Miami Heat come to town. What’s interesting is that this is a Sunday game with a 1:00 start. Meaning that fans are going to have to choose between going to whatever football game is in the Medowlands or watching LeBron, Bosh, and Wade. As for the game itself, I mentioned yesterday that I think playing the Heat early is better for the Nets’ chances to keep it close, and that is what they will do here, keep it close. However, the Heat’s talent gives them the win. 1-2.
November 03 vs Charlotte
Charlotte was a team last year that despite playing very good, the Nets seemed to have their number. They beat them for win #1, and they beat them another time later in the year. That is 1/6 of the Nets’ wins from last year. I say that the Nets still have their number, and they win here. 2-2.
November 05 @ Orlando
This game in Orlando starts a long road stretch for the Nets. Including this game, the Nets play 10 out of their next 14 on the road. This game against Orlando is going to be tough, but it will be fun to watch Brook and Dwight go at it. Brook had a really strong game against Dwight his rookie season, and when these teams played it seemed like Dwight remembered that and went at Brook hard. Here’s hoping Brook returns the favor, although the Magic will take this one. 2-3.
November 06 @ Miami
After running up and down with Orlando, the Nets then have to play Miami the next day. Getting the Heat on the second day of a back to back? That’s rough, and despite the Heat probably not clicking on all cylinders, they will blow out the Nets this time. 2-4.
November 09 vs Cleveland
The Nets have their first chance at starting a winning streak when they face off against the Cavs for the first leg of a home and home. This would be a part of the schedule you would cringe at, but with LeBron gone, it makes things a lot easier. Mo Williams vs. Devin Harris is the matchup to watch here. Nets win. 3-4.
November 10 @ Cleveland
Game two of that home and home, and I think that the Nets will end up taking both, because the Cavs don’t really have anyone who can stop Brook Lopez. Expect Brook to have a pretty good stretch of games here. Nets win. 4-4.
November 13 vs Orlando
A weird scheduling quirk here, in the Nets first nine games, they play the same team twice three different times. Nothing good/bad about it, just strange. Vince Carter returns to New Jersey in this one, and probably goes off for a big game. The Nets lose. 4-5.
November 15 @ LA Clippers
After the game against Orlando, the Nets head over to California for their first west coast swing. The matchup to watch here is Blake Griffin vs. Derrick Favors. While we haven’t seen Blake play in over a year, we know his game. A hard working athletic big that can do a lot of things. I think this will be a pretty good test for Favors. If he can handle Griffin’s physical nature and still be productive, we can expect good things from Derrick. Nets win. 5-5.
November 17 @ Utah
Al Jefferson had a down year last year, but that doesn’t mean he is going to be a bad player from now on. Jefferson is finally away from the Timberwolves and that is probably a good thing for him. Add Deron Williams to the mix, and the Jazz probably win this one going away. 5-6.
November 19 @ Sacramento
The Nets are taking on the Kings for the second time, and something tells me these two will split the season series. DeMarcus Cousins gets into foul trouble, and Brook has a really strong game. Nets win. 6-6.
November 20 @ Denver
In Denver, the Nets get their first chance to show off their core to Carmelo Anthony. Anthony is reportedly not sure whether or not he will extend his contract with the Nuggets. If he doesn’t everyone seems to assume that he is going to the Knicks, but if the Nets impress Carmelo, I think they have a shot. Carmelo goes off and gets the win here. 6-7.
November 23 vs Atlanta
Atlanta is a team that just destroyed the Nets every time they matched up last year. The Hawks were a running and gunning type of team while the Nets really struggled against that type of style (remember the Hawks and Raptors games?). The Nets have taken steps to become more athletic on the wings, and that will prevent a blowout, but the Hawks are still too strong. 6-8.
November 24 @ Boston
Rasheed is out and Shaq is in. Never mind that for now, because something tells me that the core guys from the Celtics remember their loss against the Nets last year and are going to want to get some payback for it. The Celtics win this one going away, and hand the Nets their first extended losing streak. 6-9.
November 27 @ Philadelphia
After a three game losing streak, it will be nice to see the Sixers on the schedule. It also means Evan Turner will be in the building to show the Nets what they could have had if they were a little bit luckier. Last year the Nets lost two of their games against the Sixers the same exact way. Down by three, a Sixers’ player missed a free throw, giving the Nets a chance to tie the game, but they don’t even get a shot off. The Nets win this one in a similar style. 7-9.
November 28 vs Portland
Travis Outlaw gets to go up against his former team here, and while he will probably have a solid game, the Trailblazers are just too strong and will take this one going away. 7-10.
November 30 @ New York
Ahhh…the Knicks. The Knicks have Amar’e Stoudemire and Raymond Felton meaning that they have a new found hope to hang on to. Will they be good? Maybe, but just wait until they trade Eddy Curry for Carmelo and Danilo Gallinari for Chris Paul. The rest of league will have to watch out after that! Until then, the Knicks probably have Amar’e starting at the center spot, and this gives the Nets an advantage. Nets win. 8-10.
December 01 vs Oklahoma City
Kevin Durant is very good. It is going to be interesting to see who the Nets try to use to stop him. Courtney Lee is the Nets best defender, but he is too small for Durant. It is probably going to be Outlaw who gets the call here, but that probably won’t be good enough. OKC wins. 8-11.
November 03 @ Charlotte
Here are those Bobcats again. Again, I think the Nets just have their number, and they will take this one. 9-11.
So after 20 games, I have the Nets at 9-11 and only three wins away from last year’s total. What do you guys think?