The Brooklyn Nets will play 4 preseason games, with 3 of them played in a span of just 5 days. What better way to get ready for the regular-season grind?
With three preseason road games in five days this week, it’s almost as if the Brooklyn Nets decided to start their regular season a week early.
The Nets played at Detroit on Monday, face the Toronto Raptors in Montreal on Wednesday and close the preseason Friday night at Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks.
It’s an unusually grueling stretch for a preseason schedule, but there are definitely benefits.
The rookies on the club — and there will be at least two with draft picks Dzanan Musa and Rodions Kurucs — get their first taste of a real NBA road trip before the curtain drops on the regular season.
Heck, there’s even a trip to Canada in there, so the kids will be old hands at the border crossing rituals when the Nets visit the Raptors in Toronto twice this season.
Coach Kenny Atkinson told Tom Dowd of Nets.com that he liked the way the schedule was assembled.
"“I think the way it worked out, I am glad we’re having this road trip coming up to simulate three games in a week’s span, but no particular reason. I think that’s just the way it worked out. It wasn’t a strategy or anything.”"
Preparing for the grind of an NBA season is part of what the preseason is for and Brooklyn gets a full taste of that with a five-day stretch of play, travel, play again, travel again, play yet again.
And they’ll be in Manhattan for the last leg, so the trip home won’t be a long one.
The Nets will have four days off after Friday’s game against the Knicks before they go back to Detroit for real to face the Pistons in the season opener on Oct. 17.
Wednesday will mark the first time the Nets have played in Montreal, where the Raptors are playing for the first time since 2015 as part of the NBA Canada Series.
In 2016, Toronto played its annual NBA Canada Series games out west in Calgary and Vancouver and the series was scrubbed last season as the NBA moved its regular-season start date up.
Montreal has never been home to an NBA team and it’s not likely Quebec’s largest city will ever do so, so for NBA fans there, this is a rare opportunity to see it up close and personal.
It’s one of the cool things about the preseason as a fan, getting to see games in places they are not ordinarily staged.