If you want to make the case that the Nets are every bit as good as the Detroit Pistons, then there is real hope that New Jersey can get above .500 for the first time since Dec. 19, 2008, when they open the season against Tracy McGrady’s newest team.
You may recall that long-ago night when the Nets rose above the break-even mark, because it came in a 24-point victory over the Dallas Mavericks in which Devin Harris scored 41 points against his former team with Nets fans taunting Mavs owner Mark Cuban by chanting, "Thank You, Cuban."
It has all gone downhill in the nearly two years since then, the low point coming when New Jersey sank to 0-18 last Dec. 2, but at least the Nets will have a new owner (Mikhail Prokhorov), a new place to call home and a new coach (Avery Johnson) when they open the 2010-11 season at the Prudential Center in downtown Newark.
The Nets will play their first four games at home, including a Sunday afternoon 1 p.m. matinee on Halloween against the Miami Heat that will allow LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to make it back to South Beach in time for the human costume parade along Collins Avenue that must be experienced in person to be truly appreciated.
And just think, if the Nets can knock off the Pistons and the Sacramento Kings in their first two games, they would actually be two games over .500 for the first time since Nov. 30, 2008, when Harris scored a career-high 47 points in a 117-109 victory at Phoenix (career victory No. 200 for former coach Lawrence Frank).
Aside from opening with a four-game homestand, the Nets' schedule includes this oddity: Among their first nine games, the Nets will play the Heat twice, the Magic twice and the Cavs twice.
Also, the Nets will play just five home games (and 10 road games) in the month of November, and they will become the first team to play a regular-season game in Europe when they face the Toronto Raptors in London on March 4 and 5.
In their news release announcing the schedule, the Nets touted their home games against Jason Kidd and the Mavericks on Jan. 22 and Richard Jefferson and the San Antonio Spurs on Feb. 14. Curiously, they did not make special mention of Lawrence Frank’s first game against his former team. That'll come Dec. 5 against the Boston Celtics, who have hired Frank as an assistant coach to replace Tom Thibodeau.
The Nets' news release also mentioned that a limited number of season tickets are available for $299. If you divide that number by 41, you learn it’ll cost just $7.29 to sit in a cheap seat at The Rock.
Just a guess, but I’d reckon there won't be any $7.29 tickets two years from now when the Nets move into their new arena in downtown Brooklyn.