- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
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NEW YORK -- The NBA's schedule-makers didn't want to wait to introduce fans to the "East River Rivalry."
The Nets and Knicks will face off three other times: Dec. 11 in Brooklyn and Dec. 19 and Jan. 21 at Madison Square Garden.
The Nets also landed a spot on the NBA's Christmas Day lineup, hosting the Boston Celtics at noon.
The Nets will play on national television 17 times: nine times on ESPN, five times on NBA TV and three times on TNT. Last season, the Nets did not appear on ESPN or TNT.
With the approval of owner Mikhail Prokhorov, Nets general manager Billy King and assistant GM Bobby Marks went out and spent almost $330 million this offseason to upgrade their roster.
King and Marks were able to retain Deron Williams (five years, $98 million), Brook Lopez (four years, $60 million), Gerald Wallace (four years, $40 million) and Kris Humphries (two years, $24 million), while bringing in Joe Johnson (four years, $89 million), Mirza Teletovic (three years, $9.7 million), Reggie Evans (three years, $5 million) and C.J. Watson (two years, $2 million).
Many pundits would've given the Nets a perfect grade for their offseason haul, but they were unable to land Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard in a blockbuster trade despite what seemed like an all-in pursuit. Assuming he's still with the Magic and hasn't been dealt, Howard would make his first visit to Brooklyn on Nov. 11. The two teams will play in Orlando two days earlier.
Williams can expect to be booed vociferously on March 20 when the Nets travel to Dallas. Williams spurned his hometown Mavericks to re-sign with Brooklyn.
Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.
5hChris Broussard and Brian Windhorst