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Nets 2021-22 Schedule: Top Games, Championship Odds and Record Predictions

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 20, 2021

BOSTON, MA - MAY 30: Kevin Durant #7, James Harden #13 and Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets smile during the game against the Boston Celtics during Round 1, Game 4 of the 2021 NBA Playoffs on May 30, 2021 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE  (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brian Babineau/Getty Images

The Brooklyn Nets haven't advanced to a conference final since moving from New Jersey in 2012, but this is a team that could go all the way to an NBA title. 

Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving are three of the top offensive players in the league with a combined 27 All-Star selections, seven scoring titles and two MVP awards. They were on the team together last year, but we only saw them in eight regular-season games together totaling 202 minutes.

Injuries and other factors put them in and out of the lineup during the year, while both Harden and Irving missed time during the eventual second-round loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

They are back for 2021-22, though, and expectations should be even higher with a roster that could outscore anyone. It is up to them to prove it on the court during the upcoming 82-game schedule.

       

2021-22 Nets Schedule Details

Season Opener: at Milwaukee Bucks (Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m. ET)

Championship Odds: +230 (FanDuel)

Schedule: NBA.com

        

Top Matchups

Milwaukee Bucks (Oct. 19 at Bucks)

Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

Even while dealing with injuries during the playoffs, the Nets gave the Bucks all they could handle in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The series came down to overtime in Game 7 with a tie in the final minute until a pair of key Milwaukee buckets were enough to clinch the win.

A few minor changes likely alters the entire series, but Brooklyn was left having to watch the Bucks win the next two rounds to take home the NBA title.

The Nets will now get their chance at revenge on Opening Night while also sending a message to the rest of the league that they are now the title favorites in 2022.

Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo going head-to-head is always a thrill, even if they don't guard each other. Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday are also among the few guards who can stay with Harden and Irving defensively.

This game will certainly be a test, but the Nets have a chance to prove themselves in this battle. 

        

Los Angeles Lakers (Dec. 25 at Lakers)

Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

Outside of All-Star weekend, this Christmas Day matchup should feature the most star power the NBA has to offer. 

The Nets have their three stars as well as big names like Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. The Los Angeles Lakers are led by LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook, while Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard and Marc Gasol also dot the roster. 

Even the most casual basketball fan will know nearly every player on the court.

There is also no shortage of storylines with the intersecting players. Former Thunder teammates Durant, Harden and Westbrook coming together. Former Cavaliers teammates LeBron and Kyrie battling once again. Seven of the last 13 MVP winners and 11 of the last 14 scoring champions all on one court together.

You can be certain television executives are hoping for this matchup in the NBA Finals. In the meantime, fans should enjoy the regular-season battle between the squads on Christmas Day.

              

Season Forecast

The Nets had the No. 1 offensive rating in the NBA last season even with Harden and Durant playing fewer than 40 games for the team. 

If the Big Three is healthy, there aren't any teams that can match up on the scoreboard. The players might need more time to develop chemistry while sharing the ball, but each of the three can create for themselves and take over on a given night. 

There should also be plenty of scoring depth this season with veterans Griffin, Joe Harris and Patty Mills to go with rookie Cameron Thomas.

Fans should look to bet the overs with this team because Brooklyn will likely be close to scoring 120 points every night.

The question marks come on the defensive end. No one replaced Jarrett Allen as a rim-protector, while losing Jeff Green to free agency will also hurt. The team finished last year ranked 22nd in the NBA in defensive efficiency.

It could lead to more playing time for players like Bruce Brown or rookie Day'Ron Sharpe, who can help on defense. 

These issues still likely won't become a problem until the postseason as the Nets ride the offense to one of the best records in the NBA.

Record Prediction62-20

   

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