New-look Nets visit Irving and the Cavs
(SportsNetwork.com) - The new-look Brooklyn Nets are set to kick off the 2013-14 season when they visit the Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday at Quicken Loans Arena.
The Nets bolstered their lineup by acquiring Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Andrei Kirilenko and Jason Terry to play alongside Brook Lopez, Joe Johnson and Deron Williams. The Nets appear to be a contender in the Eastern Conference and anything short of one of the top three seeds would be considered a disappointment.
Brooklyn also tabbed Jason Kidd as its new head coach, although he will miss Wednesday night's game due to a suspension. He will miss two games after pleading guilty to driving while ability impaired. Lawrence Frank will coach the team the first two games.
"Championship teams are built on being prepared, playing unselfishly and being held accountable, and that's how I expect to coach this basketball team," Kidd said. "I am truly excited about this next phase of my basketball career."
Brooklyn went 49-33 last season and lost in seven games to the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the playoffs.
After the Nets visit the Cavs, they will host the two-time defending champion Miami Heat at Barclays Center on Friday.
Cleveland should be a much better team this season with All-Star Kyrie Irving running the show.
The Cavaliers missed the playoffs for a third straight year last season and compiled a 24-58 record. Irving, forward Tristan Thompson and shooting guard Dion Waiters are expected to carry the load in 2012-13. Irving battled injuries last season and hopes to stay healthy for the new campaign.
"This is the best I've ever felt coming into a season," Irving said. "My goal is to become the best player in the league."
Cleveland also inked much-maligned center Andrew Bynum and drafted Anthony Bennett with the top pick over the summer.
Cavs head coach Mike Brown is back with the team for another stint.
Brooklyn won all three meetings with Cleveland last season and is 8-2 in the past 10 matchups in this series. The Nets have prevailed in four of their last five trips to the Q.
10/30 11:26:25 ET