It took until the first week in December, but we finally have an official NBA schedule. While the league will open up with marquee matchups on Christmas Day, the New Jersey Nets will kick off their final season in the Garden State the following night against the Washington Wizards.
In what will be a season of lasts in Jersey, the Nets final home game in the state is on Dec. 27 against the Atlanta Hawks. They follow that up with a trip down to Orlando to see Dwight Howard and the Magic.
The Nets conditioning will be tested early on starting with those games against the Hawks and Magic as they are part of six games in eight nights between Dec. 27 and Jan. 2. All told, the Nets get to play just four of their first 14 games at the Prudential Center in Newark.
New Jersey will be one of just 10 teams that get to experience the rare back-to-back-to-back twice -- every team gets at least one and none have three. The first is Jan. 21-23 against the Oklahoma City Thunder and Charlotte Bobcats at home and then the Bulls in Chicago. The second is a month later Feb. 18-20 at the Bulls, home for the Milwaukee Bucks and across the river against the New York Knicks.
Considering some of the travel teams will have to endure throughout the season, the Nets two back-to-back-to-backs are some of the easier ones you will come across as they both basically include two home games.
The Nets will take see the defending champion Mavericks just once on Feb. 28 in Dallas. That means there will be no swan song for Jason Kidd in New Jersey.
New Jersey will see the dynamic duo of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade three times: Jan. 7 in Newark, March 6 at Miami and April 16 at the Prudential Center.
Deron Williams will get to make his return to Utah to take on the Jazz in the lucky 13th game of the season on Jan. 14.
Of the six teams the Nets have to play four times, only three -- Atlanta Hawks, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers -- made the playoffs last season. That is good news for a New Jersey team trying to earn a postseason bid for the first time since 2006-07.