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Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Nets' 2011-12 schedule

By Mike Mazzeo

Nets' schedule

OPENING DAY OPPONENT: The New Jersey Nets will travel to D.C. to take on John Wall and the Washington Wizards on Dec. 26.

MUST-SEE MATCHUPS
• D-Will vs. D-12 in Orlando on Dec. 29
• Miami's big three comes to New Jersey on Jan. 7
Deron Williams makes his return to Utah on Jan. 14
• Two trips to MSG, on Feb. 4 and 20
• D-Will goes home to Big D to face the defending champion Mavericks on Feb. 28
• An invitation to the Blake Griffin show at the Prudential Center on March 7
• The franchise's last game in the Garden State, against Philadelphia on April 23 -- unless the Nets make the playoffs.

TOUGHEST STRETCH: The Nets play 10 of their first 14 games on the road. During that stretch, from Dec. 26 to Jan. 16, they play in Orlando and Boston and then host the Heat before embarking on a daunting four-game trip through Denver, Phoenix, Utah and L.A., to face the Clippers. Their first six games of the season will be played in the first eight available days of the season.

EASIEST STRETCH: A couple of options, but the Nets will have arguably their most successful portion of the season over a six-game stretch from Jan. 27 to Feb. 3 that includes home games against Toronto, Detroit and Minnesota and road dates with Philadelphia, Cleveland and Indiana.

WHAT'S MISSING: Home games that start at 7 p.m. This season's games at The Rock will begin at 7:30. ... The Nets were supposed to make a trip to London for the second straight season to take on Orlando on March 7 and 8, but that has been scrapped. ... Jason Kidd was supposed to make his return to New Jersey; that isn’t happening now. ... Sadly, Black Mamba and the Lake Show won’t be invading the Rock either. ... As has already been reported, the Nets will play 48 games against the East and 18 against the West. The Nets will play division rivals Boston and New York only three times instead of four. They have two four-game West Coast swings and six three-game homestands.

BASKETBALL NEVER STOPS: As a result of the 149-day lockout, which shortened the season by 16 games, the Nets have 15 back-to-backs and two back-to-back-to-backs:
• Oklahoma City, Jan. 21; Charlotte, Jan. 22; at Chicago, Jan. 23
• at Chicago, Feb. 18; Milwuakee, Feb. 19; at New York, Feb. 20.

Last season, the Nets had 20 back-to-backs, including 12 after Christmas. The Nets will play 3.9 games per week this season, up from the usual 3.5, which averages out to about two extra games per month.