COMMENTARY | Following a playoff berth in their first season in Brooklyn, the Nets have heavy expectations entering the 2013-14 NBA season, especially after acquiring Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett from the Boston Celtics this offseason.
Looking at the Nets' 2013 NBA schedule, there are a few games that stick out to me as matchups that you can't afford to miss.
Even if you're not a fan of the Brooklyn Nets, you should be able to appreciate the following three games:
Dec. 5: New York Knicks
In case you haven't been following all of the back and forth between the two teams, just know this: The Nets and New York Knicks is a rivalry.
We saw the rivalry escalate last season, and now with Paul Pierce playing in Brooklyn, the fire only burns hotter between these two teams, especially after Pierce's comments that his hatred for the Knicks has grown and that New York will go from "Knicks Town to Nets Village," according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.
The Nets went 2-2 against the Knicks last season, with the deciding game -- which was actually slated to be the first meeting of the season between the two teams -- being cancelled due to the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.
You don't have to be a Nets or Knicks fan to appreciate this rivalry -- just sit back on Dec. 5 and enjoy the physical game and jawing that's bound to take place.
Dec. 25: Chicago Bulls
What better way for the Nets to celebrate Christmas than to face the team that ousted them from the playoffs last season?
Chicago vs. Brooklyn will be one of the most anticipated games of the 2013-14 NBA season because of the playoff series fans saw last year, and the fact that Derrick Rose should be back on the court this season, according to Matt Moore of CBS Sports.
The Bulls will undoubtedly be a contender in the East this season, and with the Nets also supposed to be one of the top teams in the conference, it surely makes for an interesting contest.
If you're a fan of individual matchups, this one will feature two of the NBA's best point guards squaring off, in Rose and Deron Williams.
Either way, you should be tuning into this game on Christmas.
Jan. 26: At Boston Celtics
Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett will make their first trip back to Boston since leaving in the offseason to join the Nets -- tell me this won't be one of the most anticipated games on the NBA slate this season.
While I don't think the Celtics will be nearly as competitive as they're accustomed to, I'm interested to see how the fans welcome Garnett and Pierce back, more importantly Pierce. Pierce gave the Celtics everything he had for 15 seasons but will now don a new jersey this season.
Also adding to the interest of this game is the fact that the Nets and Celtics both compete in the Atlantic Division and have some history.
Last season, Rajon Rondo got into a scuffle with Kris Humphries, which eventually led to multiple players from both teams getting involved. Now Rondo and Humphries are teammates, which makes for an interesting season in itself.
Don't miss this one.
Pete Schauer is a native of the Jersey Shore where he covers the Brooklyn Nets, New York Giants and New York Yankees as a Yahoo Sports contributor. You can follow him on Twitter @Pete_Schauer and find him on Google+.
- Sports & Recreation
- Paul Pierce
- New York Knicks
- Boston Celtics
- Kevin Garnett