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Nets get 20 games on national TV after big offseason haul

Brooklyn is slated for 20 games on ESPN, TNT and NBA TV.

August 13, 2019 JT Torenli

The Brooklyn Nets received one national television game from the NBA schedule-makers a season ago, when they went 42-40 and reached the playoffs for the first time in four years.

They got none in each of the previous three campaigns as they wallowed in the league’s basement for most of that stretch.

But the offseason arrivals of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have made the Nets must-see TV, according to the league’s recently released national slate, one which will see Brooklyn headline, or at least co-star, in 20 games split between ESPN, TNT and NBA TV.

After spending most of the previous half-decade as an afterthought on the league’s landscape, the Nets have blossomed into a prime contender for the Eastern Conference crown and now can boast two of the game’s biggest stars, though Durant is unlikely to suit up for Brooklyn before next March, if at all this coming season, due to an injury he suffered in the NBA finals.

Regardless, the powers that be have deemed Brooklyn one of the NBA’s biggest attractions, though the Nets were left off the coveted Christmas schedule for a sixth straight year.

The Nets will open their much-anticipated eighth season in our fair borough on Wednesday, Oct. 23 at the Barclays Center against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Their first national TV game will be on ESPN on Nov. 1 against the visiting Houston Rockets, who made their own moves this offseason, landing Russell Westbrook from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for veteran Chris Paul.

Brooklyn has a home-and-home against Boston just before and after Thanksgiving, with Irving’s former Celtic teammates hosting Brooklyn on Wednesday, Nov. 27 and Boston coming to the corners of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues on Nov. 29. The opener of the two-game set will be televised on ESPN.

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If Durant, who tore his Achilles during last year’s NBA Finals, is somehow able to get to full health before season’s end, the former MVP could be in line to suit up against his former Golden State teammates as the Nets will visit the reigning Western Conference champions’ new Chase Center on March 12.

The Warriors come to Brooklyn on Feb. 5 for another ESPN-televised contest.

Unlike the past several seasons, when the Nets were forced to go on extended late-season treks across several time zones due to the circus or other events being held at Barclays, this coming year Brooklyn will have no road trip longer than five games.

That longest road stretch will begin out west Nov. 8 at Portland and see the Nets visit Phoenix on Nov. 10, Utah on Nov. 12, Denver on Nov. 14 and finally Chicago on Nov. 16. The last two of those games will be aired on TNT and NBA TV, respectively.

They will be going to California in for a mid-March trip that features the Golden State visit, along with games against LeBron James’ Lakers, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Sacramento Kings.

Brooklyn will also play four straight Midwest contests at Oklahoma City on April 7, Milwaukee on April 9, Chicago on April 11 and Cleveland on April 13, before closing out the regular season April 15 at home against the Bucks.

Other notable home games include visits by the rival-across-the-river Knicks on Oct. 25 and the day after Christmas, as well as a Jan. 23 visit from James, new teammate Anthony Davis and the rest of the new-look Lakers. That game will cap a stretch of seven home games in eight contests for Brooklyn, and will also air on TNT.

After acquiring its new “Big Two”, as well as landing veteran power forward DeAndre Jordan this past summer, the Nets are doubtlessly hoping to get another 20-plus national TV games during the NBA playoffs.

But those games will not be scheduled until Brooklyn proves that last year’s leap back into contention is repeatable with a reshuffled and star-studded roster.

The Nets will no longer be playing in virtual obscurity here, but in front of a national TV audience during nearly a quarter of their 82 contests.

Philadelphia head coach Brett Brown and the Nets’ Kenny Atkinson shake hands following Brooklyn’s five-game ouster at the hands of the Sixers in last season’s playoffs. AP Photo/Chris Szagola

In other local pro sports news, the Brooklyn Cyclones boosted their record to a season-best nine games above .500 with Monday’s 4-1 victory over archrival Staten Island in front of 5,827 fans at Coney Island’s MCU Park.

Garrison Bryant (4-1, 2.59 ERA) continued his strong summer here in Brooklyn, picking up the win by yielding just one run on three hits with no walks and five strikeouts over five brilliant innings of relief as the Baby Bums remained 1 1/2 games behind first-place Hudson Valley in the ongoing race for McNamara Division supremacy.

Jose Peroza belted a two-run homer off the facing of the left-field scoreboard for Brooklyn, which improved to 17-13 at home this season and a division-best 14-9 against McNamara foes.

Hot-hitting second baseman Wilmer Reyes continued to light up the circuit Monday against the Yanks, going 3-for-4 to boost his team-best batting average to a sizzling .346. Reyes is batting .359 (14-for-39) over his last 10 games for the ‘Clones, who were slated to visit Staten Island on Tuesday evening (weather permitting).

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