Site Manager Nicholas LeTourneau continues breaking down the Brooklyn Nets schedule in a three-part series. First up was back-to-backs and other key games. Here, he looks at revenge games and will end with a prediction of how the season will go. Stay tuned!
October 27th @ New York Knicks
It’s only fitting the first game on the revenge tour kicks off against the New York Knicks. Jeremy Lin will always be tied to the Knicks (his Linsanity team was just immortalized in NBA 2K18 too), and as long as Carmelo Anthony is on the team, this will always be viewed as a revenge game to me. For whatever reason, Anthony never got along with Lin, and it shows every time they face off. Anthony seems to turn it up to another level against Lin, even going for hard fouls at times, but Lin has always taken the high road.
With the arrival of D’Angelo Russell, Allen Crabbe, DeMarre Carroll and Jarrett Allen, the Nets should be the best team in New York this season. The Knicks have had a lot of well-documented drama this offseason, from the constant Anthony trade rumors, to worrying about the future of Kristaps Porzingis in a Knicks uniform. While the Nets have an uphill battle to fight this season, they should match up well against the Knicks and come away with wins each time they face off.
November 3rd @ Los Angeles Lakers
To call D’Angelo Russell’s first trip back to LA a revenge game would be an understatement. As if trading him in a salary dump before drafting someone to take his place wasn’t enough to light a fire under him, new GM Magic Johnson didn’t hesitate to take some shots at him on the way out. Russell took the comments in stride, but don’t think for a moment that those words won’t be fueling him for a long time.
Los Angeles is ready to start taking steps toward a lasting rebuild after several years of mediocrity turned into flat out losing. They have the coach and a good balance of promising youth and veterans (Brook Lopez is going to have a career year in LA next season), and both management and ownership are operating in harmony. The Lakers are a team that is a few years away from being consistently good in an ever-improving Western Conference once Lonzo Ball and co. reach their potential.
But right now, they are in the same boat as Brooklyn. I’m expecting a giant game from Russell when he gets back to LA.
November 10th @ Portland Trail Blazers
When the Brooklyn Nets signed Allen Crabbe to a gigantic offer sheet last summer, everyone around the NBA thought it was just a way to tie up other team’s budgets. But after completing a trade this summer to get him, people are singing a different tune. Crabbe spent his first four years in Portland and slowly grew into the sharpshooting player he is today, but could never truly spread his wings due to a logjam of guards and wings throughout his tenure in Portland.
Crabbe is someone who could take a gigantic step forward as a player in Brooklyn. His 3-point shooting will be a hand in glove fit with Atkinson’s offense, and I truly believe he is destined to become more than just a 3-point shooter. He runs the floor well, has decent handles and is good at hitting contested jumpers. Portland was kind to him, and I am sure he will get welcomed back with open arms, but he will want to come out and light this team up.