Seeing Al Iannazzone breaking the schedule down month-by-month last week got me thinking. I wanted to do something similar, but I also wanted to add a little twist on it. That is why I decided to go through each game of the 2009-2010 season in this 4 part weekly series (hey, I have to stretch this out, I am running out of stuff to post about) to give you guys an idea of how many wins I think this team will win (Eventually I will add point differentials, and this will be my entry for our contest). Something to keep in mind…before the schedule came out, I was thinking this team could win 30-35 games. See what I think the Nets will do in their first 20 games after the jump.
Wed Oct. 28 @ Minnesota
There are some awesome matchups here. On the outside you got Devin Harris vs. Johnny Flynn (someone the Nets really liked during the draft), and on the inside you have Brook Lopez vs. Kevin Love in a matchup of top sophmores. With Minnesota starting a rookie PG (most likely) and having a rookie headcoach sitting on the bench, I got the Nets winning this one, and they are now on pace to go 82-0. (1-0).
Fri Oct. 30 vs Orlando
Game of the year for Nets fans. Vince Carter is back in the IZod center, but this time he isn’t wearing the home uniform. In an interesting twist, with the Rashard Lewis suspension, Ryan Anderson may be starting this game as well. I see Courtney Lee having a big game, but Orlando is way too tough and Dwight will probably get the better of Brook. Orlando wins going away. (1-1).
Sat Oct. 31 @ Washington
I think Washington is going to be real tough this year. You got Gilbert Arenas and DeShawn Stevenson coming back healthy, and the additions of Mike Miller and Randy Foye makes this team real deep. Nick Young is starting to develop into a pretty nice player too. Brook Lopez will dominate the Wizards inside (who on their roster can stop them), but the Wizards are way to strong on the perimeter for the Nets and they win a close game. (1-2).
Mon Nov. 02 @ Charlotte
The Bobcats are another team poised for a big run next year. The addition of Tyson Chandler turns them into a great defensive team, and Gerald Wallace has been under-rated for way too long. Brook and Chandler will play each other to a draw, and that means Gerald Wallace will be the deciding factor here, and he has a big game as the Bobcats win. (1-3).
Wed Nov. 04 vs Denver
Awesome PG matchup here. You got two guys with contrasting styles who use their strengths to their advantages. Devin is a speed guy and Chauncey is a strength guy. It will be fun to see which style wins out. No matter the result, the Nets’ 4s will have their hands full with Nene, and nobody will be able to stop Carmelo. Denver wins big. (1-4).
Fri Nov. 06 @ Philadelphia
Elton Brand will be healthy and it will be interesting to see if the Sixers can incorporate into their gameplan this year as they really struggled with that last year. The Nets have an advantage at PG, but as what will seem to be the case all year, our 4s are going to just be bullied by Thaddus Young (who will have a break-out year – just watch) in a Sixers win. (1-5).
Sat Nov. 07 vs Boston
In a match-up of two guys who were almost (maybe) traded for each other, Big Baby vs. Yi will be entertaining. The Celtics are just way too deep for the Nets. Sheed, KG, Rondo, Pierce, Allen…should I keep going. This is going to be a big win for the Celtics as two of their big guys have big guy type nights. (1-6).
Wed Nov. 11 vs Philadelphia
We get the Sixers once again, and for some reason, I just think that Dalembert will give Lopez fits this game. Every once in a while this will happen to Brook due to his youth, and Dalembert is a pretty underrated defender. With Brook slowed, Devin and Courtney will try to pick up the slack, but the Sixers win again. (1-7).
Fri Nov. 13 @ Orlando
As the Nets and Magic match-up for the second time, Courtney Lee gets to make his return to Orlando. Using this as motivation, he will have a big game, but that is about it. Lewis is still going to be out (this is Orlando’s 10th game), but Cater, Nelson, and Dwight will pick up the slack, and the Magic will win big again. (1-8).
Sat Nov. 14 @ Miami
Off to such a poor start, Lawrence Frank decides it is a good time to get Terrence Williams into the starting line-up to try and shake things up. He plays well, but Dwyane Wade goes off, and so does Michael Beasley, who rips our starting 4 a new one. The Heat win. (1-9).
Tue Nov. 17 vs Indiana
Danny Granger is a tough mismatch for any team. He can shoot from the outside, but he is big and he can take it to the hoop as well. Fortunately for the Nets, they don’t have much else going on for them. Devin and Brook each dominate their opponent, and the Nets win, ending a 9 game losing streak. (2-9).
Wed Nov. 18 @ Milwaukee
The 10th pick (Brandon Jennings) and the 11th pick (Terrence Williams) of the 2009 draft meet-up, and by this point both could be starting and playing against each other. Terrence does a lot more to impact the game overall, and he shows it this game, picking up a double-double (points and assists) and he misses a triple-double by 2 rebounds. As the Nets win, the Bucks start to think that they may have made a mistake passing up of T-Will. (3-9).
Sat Nov. 21 vs New York
With a two-game win streak on the line, the Nets are matched up against their foes across the river, the New York Knicks. Devin Harris and Brook Lopez both have big games, and Jordan Hill plays Yi to a draw (you notice that in all wins so far, they are against teams with no advantage at the 4 position). This helps get the Nets a win, and they are officially streaking at 3. (4-9).
Tue Nov. 24 @ Denver
Carmelo is really good in the post. Really really good. CDR is kind of skinny and his strength is an issue. This is a recipe for trouble. Carmelo dominates early and when Najera tries his hands at covering him, Carmelo just using his quicks to get by him. Carmelo puts up 35+ and the Nuggets win ending the Nets three game winning streak. (4-10).
Wed Nov. 25 @ Portland
Portland is where I want to see the Nets be in a year or two. All of the Blazers young guys blossomed around the same time, and now they are all in their prime. Along with Oden vs. Brook, Roy vs. Terrence Williams/CDR is going to be fun to watch, but he beats out both of these guys in a Portland win. (4-11).
Fri Nov. 27 @ Sacramento
The one break the Nets get during this tough 4 game road trip. Kevin Martin has the potential to go off on any given night, but he is only one man. The Nets combine the efforts of Courtney Lee, Devin Harris, and Terrence Williams, all of whom score in double-digits, to leave Sacramento with a win. (5-11).
Sun Nov. 29 @ LA Lakers
With the Nets playing the defending champs, we may get an answer to a key question for the Nets. Who is this team’s perimeter defensive stopper? Devin Harris? Courtney Lee? Terrence Williams? CDR? I think Courtney Lee is going step up and take over that role (he did frustrate Kobe a bit in the finals). However, he doesn’t do a good job stopping Kobe this night. The Lakers win going away. (5-12).
Wed Dec. 02 vs Dallas
Jason Kidd makes his way back into New Jersey. For whatever reason, Devin Harris really gets pumped to play his former team, and he will put up some monster numbers. It won’t be enough though, because Kidd will put up a triple-double against his former team, and Dirk will have a big game (double-double) too. Dallas wins. (5-13).
Fri Dec. 04 vs Charlotte
It is going to be interesting to see how having a more (albeit not much) offensive minded player in Tyson Chandler will make the game easier for the Bobcats guards. I want to say the Nets win here, but I really don’t see it happening. I just think Gerald Wallace will create way too much havoc for the Nets. Bobcats win a close game. (5-14).
Sun Dec. 06 @ New York
I have said this on the blog a couple of times already, but this game won’t be watched by that many people. Scheduling a game in New York on a football Sunday at noon is just a dumb idea. Do the Knicks (who made this date available to the NBA) really think that MSG is that big of a draw still? Oh yeah Nets win as Brook plays big. (6-14).
So after their first 20 games, I have the Nets going 6-14. That isn’t too good, but it isn’t extremely awful though, and it won’t be enough to get Lawrence Frank fired. I don’t think anything will be this year (maybe an 0-20 start), mainly because if we are going to have to pay him, we might as well use him. At least that is what Ratner thinks.