Nets mercifully avoid national television for 3rd straight year

On Tuesday night, the NBA released the official schedule for all 30 teams, the one that puts 66 games into about 65 days. They’ll play division rival Toronto four times, and New York, Boston, and Washington three times each. They also play Philadelphia four times, three times in the final nine games of the season.

As far as rest goes, the Nets are around the middle of the pack:

  • The schedule includes 22 back-to-backs, seven stretches of four games in five nights, and eight stretches of three games in four nights.
  • They play two back-to-back-to-backs, the maximum allowed. They’re one of twelve teams that do.
  • One of those B2B2B’s slots after an additional back-to-back, making for five games in six nights. The final game of this stretch? February 20th, in New York against the Knicks. Perfect.
  • The Nets play just back-to-backs on the road, the fewest of any team.
  • For the third straight year, the Nets are left completely off the preseason national television schedule.

The last point is the one that bothers me the most. The past two seasons I’ve understood that the Nets don’t have a nationally televised game — they haven’t had anything worth watching nationally. Brook Lopez was the closest thing to a draw, and efficiently plodding centers don’t draw the ratings.

But this year? Not only is it strange because the Nets have a top-10 player in the NBA in Deron Williams — who forced ESPN to reconfigure their national schedule to include a Nets-Knicks game last season — but it also seems odd that the NBA left them completely off the national schedule in their final season in New Jersey ever.

But whatever. So the Nets aren’t on national television! So what? It’s a shortened season, and I bet a lot of teams aren’t on national television. I mean, there’s no way that the Jazz play nationally televised games, right? I mean, they traded away Deron Williams! So — oh, wait, what’s that, John Hollinger?!/johnhollinger/status/144213128127856642

…. oh.{{2}}[[2]]Note: The Jazz really only have eight national television games, and four on NBATV.[[2]]

Well, what other teams are there? The Timberwolves? They of the 17-65 record last season… if the Nets don’t have a game on ESPN, the Timberwolves can’t possibly…

…play the Clippers on ESPN in January?

If you ever wonder why some folks consider the Nets a joke, here’s your reason{{1}}[[1]]Among like a billion others, but still.[[1]]. National coverage isn’t an enormous honor, but that’s precisely the point. They deserve it not because they’re great, but because they’re not terrible. As constructed, the Nets aren’t in that low of an echelon to warrant a complete lack of national attention.

All I’m asking for is one. One decent Nets game that Hubie Brown or Kevin Harlan or some other stand-in commentator for a national network (The Czar!) can break down the Nets on a national stage. Someone who can espouse about how Deron Williams is a top-10 player in the NBA, how he completely alters a franchise’s direction, and how the Nets are sure to lose him to someone irrelevant in free agency. But nope! Not this year.

I’d even take a late game in the season, after you’ve gotten all the big guys in. How about Nets-Sixers, April 13th, on ESPN? Sound good, guys? Oh, you’ve already got something scheduled?

And it’s… a Bucks-Pistons game?

I give up. See you in Brooklyn.