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The Nets start the new season against the Pacers

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Brooklyn Nets Media Day Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Welcome back! After a busy off-season, the Brooklyn Nets come into the new season hoping to surprise people around the league and make the playoffs for the first time since 2015. There have been a lot of changes in regards to the scheduling of games, and we’ll discuss them more in detail as the season progresses.

The opponent this evening will be the Indiana Pacers. They made the playoffs last season, but after a disastrous series against the Cavaliers, Paul George forced his way out of town and was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder. And now that PG is gone, the Pacers will be rebuilding as they figure out what direction they will take going forward.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV and CBS 880 AM on radio. Tip off at 7 PM.


Everybody’s good to go for the Nets.

Glenn Robinson III sprained his left ankle before training camp started and recently underwent surgery. He’ll be out for three to four months.

The game

After two inconsistent seasons with the Lakers, D’Angelo Russell will get a chance to start over in Brooklyn. Since his acquisition in the summer, DLo has won over Nets fans with his presence on the court and in the community. In Kenny Atkinson’s offense, he’ll be running the show and his decision making will help set the table for players like Rondae Hollis Jefferson, Caris Levert, and Joe Harris. Darren Collison will be assigned to DLo. It doesn’t feel like it, but this is Collison’s ninth year in the league. He’s replacing Jeff Teague, who left in free agency to play for the Wolves.

The frontcourt for the Nets will be something to watch closely all season, and they’ll face a difficult test right off the bat. Myles Turner had a terrific sophomore season and will be one of the building blocks Indiana relies on over the next couple of years. With George gone, he’ll get a lot more than 11 shots a game this season. He improved on his three point percentage last year and if he can do it again along with some other improvements to his game, he’ll become an elite big man. I’ll be interested to see how the Nets deploy their frontcourt. There’s been talk of RHJ playing the five in a longball lineup, and tonight would be perfect chance to break it out.

If there’s one thing that will be drastically different this season for the Nets, it’ll be their effectiveness when wide open from deep. Brooklyn was second in open three point attempts last year, but 24th in percentage. With players like Allen Crabbe on the roster, that will change in a major way. Last year, Indy allowed 12 wide open three pointers a game, fourth most in the NBA. If Brooklyn is able to move the ball around like they did in the preseason, they’ll get a lot of clean looks from deep and can open the game up in a hurry.

For a young team like Indy, they’re gonna need a veteran to help guide them through the rough patches of the season. So it’s a good thing that Damien Wilkins will be on the 15 man roster to start the season. Also, I love when D/G-League players make it to the NBA. Sorry not sorry.

Player to watch: Victor Oladipo

After a season as Russell Westbrook’s wing man in Oklahoma City, Oladipo will have the ball in his hands a lot more this year. He had experience as the main ball handler in Orlando to mixed success. He’s most effective when he’s driving to the basket and shot a career best 60.7 percent from the field on shots within three feet. Defenses will key in on Oladipo a bit more this time around and that will make his life a little more difficult.

Oladipo will start the game matched up against Jeremy Lin. Lin played pretty decently last season, but injuries ruined his campaign. He and Russell don’t figure to spend much time together on the court as Atkinson has had them alternating running the offense. Staggering their minutes will keep the Nets offense humming and provide Atkinson with a capable ball handler that can break a defense down on the court at all times.

From the Vault

Bojan had his best game of the season and pushed the Nets into the playoffs at the same time, back in April 2015. That’s a great day at the office.

Finally, Keep Gordon Hayward in your thoughts, y’all.

More reading: Indy Cornrows