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Nets shut out of Christmas Day slate despite massive increase in national TV games

2019-08-13

Here’s one way to quantify the buzz surrounding the Nets: Their national TV games have grown by 1200%.

Brooklyn has 12 games scheduled on either ABC, TNT or ESPN, up from just one on those networks last season. A surprising run to the playoffs and, more importantly, the additions of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan have boosted the interest in the Nets. Still, their 12 games on national TV ranks just 12th in the NBA for next season, well below the Lakers (31), Warriors (30), Clippers (26) and Rockets (26). In other words, the NBA is still a Western Conference league. The Nets will have to wait until Durant returns before they approach those numbers.

The Nets were also bypassed on a Christmas game. According to an NBA source, there was consideration of making the Nets-Celtics a Christmas match up. Instead, the Celtics will face the defending champs – the Raptors – on Dec. 25. Irving will make his return to Boston in a ESPN matchup on Nov. 27.

One day after Christmas, the Nets face the Knicks on TNT.

Caris LeVert and the Nets are on the rise. (Mary Altaffer/AP)

D’Angelo Russell, a Nets All-Star last season, returns to Barclays Center with the Warriors on Feb. 5. Brooklyn relinquished Russell’s rights in free agency so it could sign Irving and Durant.

Speaking of Durant, the former MVP still hasn’t ruled out playing next season as a he rehabs from a torn Achilles. If he wants to make a grand entrance, Brooklyn’s West Coast road trip in mid-March (at Lakers, Warriors, Clippers and Kings) provides intriguing storylines.

Here are other highlights of the Nets schedule:

  • LeBron James and Anthony Davis are in Brooklyn with the Lakers on Jan 23 for a TNT match up (former Nets head coaches Jason Kidd and Lionel Hollins are now assistants with L.A.).
  • Zion Williamson arrives early in Brooklyn (Nov. 4).
  • From Feb. 8 to March 15, the Nets have a stretch of 17 games with 12 on the road.
  • The Nets host the Sixers at 3 p.m. on MLK Day (Jan. 20).
  • The Nets have just seven series of back-to-back games. The league is trying to move away from condensed scheduling with players desiring more rest. Irving, for instance, has never played more than 75 games in a season. Four times he played 60 games or fewer.