(Brook Lopez – Photograph by Lolita Beckwith)
The Nets will begin the 2015-16 season at home against the Chicago Bulls on October 28th at 7:30 pm, the beginning of a new era without Deron Williams.
Williams will make his return to Brooklyn on Wednesday, December 23rd, while the Nets travel to Dallas on Friday, January 29th.
It will be interesting to see what reception Williams gets, as he could be blamed for a lot of the issues surrounding this team the past few years. He never lived up to his five-year, $100 million contract and generally was a negative presence around the team. Unlike Jason Kidd in his return as Bucks coach last season, who just heard boos when he entered the court, Williams will be hearing it all night, when he touches the ball, takes a shot, st the free throw line.
With D-Will gone, this can be called the Brook Era, as Brook Lopez re-signed with the Nets in July and is by far the longest-tenured Net. It also helps that he arguably had his best season last year with new Head Coach Lionel Hollins.
The opener is the start of a very tough opening month of the season. They then head to San Antonio on October 30th and Memphis the next night.
They return home on Monday, November 2nd for the Milwaukee Bucks, and then head to Milwaukee on Saturday the 7th. In between, the Nets travel to Atlanta for a playoff rematch and host the Los Angeles Lakers. The hope is that Kobe Bryant will play that one, as he has only played one of three possible times in Brooklyn.
The Milwaukee game begins a four game trip, where they then travel to Houston on November 11th, Sacramento on the 13th, and to the World Champion Golden State Warriors on the 14th.
They come home on November 17th to host the Hawks before hitting the road to play the Charlotte Hornets on the 18th.
They follow that with a home-and-home with the Boston Celtics, as they play in Boston on the 20th and in Brooklyn on the 22nd. In an oddity of the schedule, their other two games against the Celtics come in a home-and-home format, with the Nets in Boston on Saturday, January 2nd and then hosting them in Brooklyn two nights later.
The Nets close November by travelling to Oklahoma City on Wednesday, November 25th, and Cleveland a few nights later on the 28th to take on LeBron James and the Cavaliers, and hosting the Pistons on the 29th.
The Nets then make the voyage to Manhattan on December 4th to take on the Knicks at The Garden. They host the Knicks on January 13th and February 19th. They face the Knicks again at The Garden on April 1st.
The Nets host the Warriors on Sunday, December 6th at Barclays. That starts a six-game homestand in which they also play Houston on the 8th, Philadelphia on the 10th, the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday the 12th at 5:00 pm, Orlando on the 14th, and the Miami Heat on the 16th.
The Nets’ other games with the Miami Heat are both on the road, on December 28th and March 28th.
The Nets play the division rival Toronto Raptors on January 6th at Barclays Center, January 18th and March 8th in Toronto, and the season finale, April 13th at Barclays Center.
The Nets have a big homestand in January, as they host Cleveland on the 20th, followed by Utah on the 22nd, Oklahoma City on the 24th, and Miami on the 26th.
The Nets have their annual “Circus Road Trip” in late February. The nine-game trip begins in Portland on the 23rd, followed by Phoenix on the 25th, Utah on the 27th, then two nights in Los Angeles- playing the Clippers on the 29th and Lakers on March 1st. After than is Denver on the 4th Minnesota on the 5th, Toronto on the 8th, and Philadelphia on the 11th.
The Nets return home on Sunday, March 13th to face Kidd and the Bucks and Philadelphia on the 15th. They then head back on the road, to Chicago on the 17th and Detroit on the 19th.
They return to Barclays for three games with Charlotte on the 22nd, LeBron and the Cavaliers on the 24th, and Indiana on the 26th.
They then have a four-game road trip in Miami on March 28th, Orlando on the 29th, Cleveland on the 31st, and the Knicks the next night, April 1st.
They come home for New Orleans on April 3rd, followed by a three-game road trip, in Washington on the 6th, Charlotte on the 8th, and Indiana on the 10th.
The Nets close the 2015-16 regular season with two at Barclays, hosting the Wizards on Monday, April 11th and the Raptors on the 13th.
The end of the Nets’ season is brutal, as 18 of their final 26 games are on the road.