The Brooklyn Nets released a four-game preseason schedule Monday, which includes a trip to Montreal and a third straight 2-game set with the New York Knicks.
That game at Barclays Center opens the preseason slate when the Nets host the New York Knicks on Oct. 3. The return game at Madison Square Garden will close out the preseason on Oct. 12.
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This is the third consecutive year that New York’s two teams will square off twice in the preseason.
On Oct. 8, the Nets visit the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena and then head to Montreal’s Bell Centre for the NBA Canada Series matchup with the Toronto Raptors on Oct. 10.
The visit to Montreal marks the first time the Nets have left the U.S. for a preseason game since playing the Sacramento Kings in games at Shanghai and Beijing in the NBA China Games in October 2014.
The full slate with times includes:
- Wednesday, Oct. 3: New York Knicks at Barclays Center, 7:30 p.m.
- Monday, Oct. 8: at Detroit Pistons, 7:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, Oct. 10: Toronto Raptors at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.
- Friday, Oct. 12: at New York Knicks, 7:30 p.m.
The preseason was shortened prior to the 2017-18 season as part of the latest collective barganing agreement agreed to in late 2016.
That move coincided with the change to the NBA regular season that stretched the 82 games over a longer period, allowing for more off days, fewer back-to-back games and the elimination of the old, dreaded four-games-in-five-nights scenario.
Under the old collective bargaining agreement, teams could schedule a maximum of eight preseason games.
For old heads such as myself, the continued shortening of the preseason has been a decades-long evolution in the NBA.
Before the players had union representation, teams regularly played slates of preseason games that lasted more than a month and included game counts in the high teens and low 20s.
Back then, owners scheduled preseason games as a means to increase gate receipts since television money was not yet a major factor in revenue generation.
The advent of two-way contracts means teams can have up to 17 players on their roster, with 12 players on the active list for each game.
The preseason is not so much about players competing for roster spots, not as much as it once was purported to be, as it is now about getting some game-type action for players, giving coaches a chance to experiment with rotations and maybe trying some strategies with different combinations.
In any event, the preseason being shorter is better if just for this reason: It means regular-season action is that much closer to happening.