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What to Make of Nets 2019-2020 Schedule

The 2019-20 schedule was just released for the Brooklyn Nets, and along with its release comes a sense of optimism, excitement, and uncertainty for head coach Kenny Atkinson’s squad.
The Nets had a successful offseason by all accounts as they were able to sign three marquee free agents: Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and DeAndre Jordan.
Durant was poached from the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors, Irving comes to Brooklyn from the Boston Celtics, and Jordan spurned the cross-town rival Knicks to come to Brooklyn.
The Nets enter the 2019-2020 with higher expectations than they have had in years and are looking to build off last season that saw them notch the 6th spot in the Eastern Conference with a record of 42-40.
The Nets play 20 games on national television during the 2019-2020 season and begin their season against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Barclays Center on Oct. 23, 2019.
Irving’s return to his former team, the Boston Celtics, will come on Nov. 27, 2019. Just two days later on Nov. 29, 2019 the Celtics will come to Brooklyn and Irving will have a home-and-home with the team he left just a few months ago.
Other marquee names for the Nets include:
Nov.1: vs. Houston
Jan. 15: @Philadelphia
Jan. 18: vs. Milwaukee
Jan. 23: vs. Lakers
Feb.5:  vs. Warriors
March 12: @Golden State
March 25: vs. Clippers
The biggest single day of the NBA year, Christmas Day, will not see the Nets in action. This is probably due to the unsure return of Durant, a former MVP and Finals MVP. The Nets instead play the Knicks at home on Dec. 26. 2019. With just a one day difference the game loses quite a bit of luster even though it is a battle for New York basketball supremacy. 
The question in the mind of Nets fans everywhere is when the Nets should expect to see Kevin Durant back on the floor and paired with Irving, Jordan, Caris LeVert, and the rest of the young core the Nets have.
Durant suffered a torn Achilles in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Durant had surgery on June 12, 2019. The timetable for this sort of injury is 9-12 months, which means the best case scenario for Durant is mid-March, which means he will have approximately 15 games left to go in the regular season before the Nets would presumably begin the NBA Playoffs.
 An interesting nugget that coincides with a nine-month recovery is the Nets face off with the Warriors on March 12, 2019 on the road. It is not out of the realm of possibility that Durant has circled this game on his calendar as when he would like to make his return to the court.
The Nets training staff cannot let Durant step on the court until he is 100 percent physically able to do so. Nobody quite knows if Durant will ever return to his pre-injury form, but Nets fans are hoping he could show the league he is just as good as he ever was. 
The precedent for NBA players returning from Achilles injuries is not a positive one with players like Kobe Bryant, Brandon Jennings and Isaiah Thomas (Detroit Pistons) all either retiring or not able to regain their form post-injury.
Durant, and the Nets training staff, must be very smart in how they deal with Durant. Durant, who will be 31 this September, is still in his athletic prime and should not sacrifice the remaining years of his career for a 20 game cameo at the end of this season.
Durant tried to return early, and help his team win a third consecutive NBA Finals, and now he finds himself watching on the sidelines with a debilitating injury. 
A more plausible return for Durant is April 1, 2019, at home against Detroit. This will give him almost the entirety of the season to recover, and eight games to get his feet under him before the NBA Playoffs begin.
If Durant has any sort of setbacks, or uncertainty, the Brooklyn Nets will have to wait until October of 2020 before they will see Durant suit up for the Nets.


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