Nets to Face Knicks in Opener in Brooklyn

A few weeks ago, as if driving home the point, Brett Yormark, the Nets’ chief executive officer, made a request to N.B.A. Commissioner David Stern for Brooklyn’s first home game in a major professional league since the Dodgers left in 1957: Give us the Knicks.

The N.B.A. granted Brooklyn’s wish. In the shiny new Barclays Center — with images of Williams’s face to invite fans — the Nets will host the Knicks on national television Nov. 1.

“We encourage the league to give us the most dramatic game possible and I think the league agreed,” Yormark said as the N.B.A. released its schedule for the 2012-13 season Thursday night. “I don’t think there is any game bigger than Nets-Knicks on opening night in Brooklyn. I’m looking forward to it. People are going to be talking about this game until it happens.”

The Knicks’ home opener will be Nov. 2 against the Miami Heat, the N.B.A.’s defending champions. The Nets will play the Heat for the first time Nov. 7 on the road.

Both the Knicks and the Nets will play on Christmas. The Nets will host the Boston Celtics. The Knicks, who usually play in Madison Square Garden on Christmas, will play the Los Angeles Lakers on the road.

The country will get to see more of the Knicks than the Nets this season. The Knicks will play on national television (ABC, ESPN or TNT) 25 times. The Nets have 12 games on national TV.

Yormark said the Nets had sold more than 10,000 season tickets for next season.

“We are now part of the conversation, and I can’t say we were in New Jersey,” Yormark said. “This has been an incredible move.”

After the league announced the schedule, the Nets alerted fans to go their Web site to hear the team’s first broadcast call in Brooklyn from Marv Albert, the Knicks’ play-by-play announcer for more than three decades. Albert will be TNT’s play-by-play announcer in the Nets’ home opener.

“They’ll be talking about this night for years to come as one of the biggest events in New York sports’ illustrious history,” Albert said. “Brooklyn is back in the big leagues.”

Shane Battier Is Still Chasing a Title With the Heat

Battier is not about to let this opportunity go to waste, which is why he was diving all over the floor on Wednesday night, sacrificing his body to help close out the in their first-round playoff series. Miami scored a in Game 5 at AmericanAirlines Arena, and Battier reached the second round of the playoffs for just the third time in his 11-year career. He knows time is running out.

“That’s why I’m here; that’s why I signed with the Heat,” Battier said before the game. “I could have gone elsewhere and maybe played more or got paid more money, but I came here to compete for a championship.”

Joining forces with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh is not a bad tactic to choose when winning it all is the goal.

Even with Wade going scoreless in the first quarter and James not hitting his first field goal until midway through the second, it was clear the Heat wanted to end the series at home. Wade exploded for 12 points in the second quarter, hitting back-to-back fadeaways late to help create an 11-point halftime cushion, and Miami expanded that lead to 18 in the third.

“Watching those games yesterday, where three teams had the opportunity to close it out and not being able to close it out, Coach wanted us to prove tonight that we were ready to close it out here at home,” Wade said. “I think the two major places we put emphasis on was turnovers and rebounding the ball, and we took care of that.”

James took on the task of defending the Knicks’ top scoring threat, Carmelo Anthony. While Anthony hit his share of shots, James matched him on the offensive end and did just enough defensively to frustrate Anthony. He finished with 29 points to Anthony’s 35.

James said the Heat were very conscious of expanding their lead after it reached 55-44 at halftime.

“It was good that we were able to do that,” he said. “We had an 11- or 12-point lead in Game 4, and we weren’t able to bump it up to 15 or 16 where Coach Woodson would have had to call a timeout. We allowed them to get back in the game.”

The last two times Battier reached the conference semifinals, his team was eliminated in seven games. Last year, his Memphis Grizzlies went the distance with the Oklahoma City Thunder, and in the 2008-9 season his Houston Rockets lost to the Los Angeles Lakers, who went on to win the N.B.A. title.

“Right now it’s about being instinctual,” said Battier, who said he still drew on his experiences at Duke under Mike Krzyzewski. “Obviously, you need to have good technique, but in the postseason you have to perform with your instincts. That was Coach K’s biggest mantra in the postseason, you can’t overthink it, you just have to go out there and make plays.”

Coach Erik Spoelstra said Battier embodied everything the Heat needs to be to advance.

“I think if you took his minutes during the course of the game, he probable spent half of his minutes on the floor,” Spoelstra said.

The Knicks’ Jeremy Lin Keeps His Cool as Heads Spin Around Him

“He got 38 points in the context of team basketball,” Coach Mike D’Antoni said after his Anthony-and-Amar’e-Stoudemire-less . Was that a message to the injured Anthony, who watched from the bench, where he could not disrupt the resurgently fluid D’Antoni offense with isolation play?

It turns out the much-maligned Knicks bench isn’t that bad, as long as it is starting and Lin is facilitating. Surely more plot twists are ahead in a season that continued Saturday in Minneapolis against the Timberwolves, but the new Disney-like paradigm stars some guy off the street who found a pair of magical sneakers.

rarely happen in big-money professional sports, and especially with a franchise like the Knicks, long known for big-ticket acquisitions like the none-too-compatible forwards Anthony and Stoudemire last season.

Hence, the emergence of Lin is hard to believe, even for someone who has already lived a variation of it.

“Who is this guy? Where’d they find him?” the Giants’ Justin Tuck wondered aloud to a small group of friends while waiting for an elevator after watching Lin — in the most dramatic episode of his new hit reality show, “Harvard to Heaven” — continue to make a mockery of developmental convention.

Granted, compared with the rocket launching of Lin, Victor Cruz’s unheralded rise to pass-catching prominence was aboard a hot-air balloon. And Tuck, a defensive star of the , was somewhat preoccupied a week ago Saturday when the desperate Knicks unleashed Linsanity.

But out on the court after the Knicks’ so-called junior varsity won its fourth straight game, a gentleman who has seen it all at the self-proclaimed World’s Most Famous Arena — or believed he had — shook his head in giddy disbelief.

“I’ve been coming here since high school in 1955,” said Cal Ramsey, leaning on a cane in the runway. “I’ve never seen anything like this in my life, just out of nowhere.”

Long after his bewildered teammates had trudged into the night, Bryant emerged to say in hushed tones for gravitas: “When a player is playing that well, he doesn’t come out of nowhere. It seems like he comes out of nowhere. Go back and take a look, and the skill level was probably there from the beginning, it’s just that we didn’t notice it.”

Whatever D’Antoni was watching at practice for the first month and a half of the season, whatever Lin’s coaches at Golden State and Houston somehow missed, have we all seen enough of Lin to call him the Knicks’ grandest stroke of fortune since the league arranged for them to win the Patrick Ewing lottery (just kidding, Commissioner) in 1985?

Maybe this astonishing breakout is more a commentary on an American style of play that has evolved from the look-at-me, A.A.U. culture. In pass-first Europe last season, Ricky Rubio, Lin’s opponent Saturday night, was said to be regressing as a player. In Minnesota, he has become a family jewel.

But Linsanity — on the New York stage — became in one week the most infectious grass-roots movement since the Tea Party.

“I didn’t think it would last, to tell you the truth,” said Ramsey, who has been part of the Knicks family in many roles, player to promotions. “But he’s so composed out there, doesn’t get excited. He turns the ball over, but that’s going to happen with guys who handle the ball that much.”

Ramsey smiled and said, “Did you see that spin move on the break?”

to Derek Fisher’s attempted physicality and foreshadowed Fisher’s taking a seat that might as well have been a rocker.

If not for Lin, this could have been about a Lakers team that is slow and shallow and may leave Bryant feeling 75 years old by the end of this brutally condensed schedule. But the takeaway from the night was how Lin answered more questions about his game with exclamation points.

Could he get to the rim and finish against the Lakers’ 7-footers, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol? However heavy-legged he and his teammates were from the previous night’s overtime victory in Boston, Bynum wound up comparing Lin to Steve Nash.

“A lot like Nash, only more aggressive to the basket,” he said after Lin continually broke the Lakers down, persistent even after being stuffed or double-teamed and forced to retreat.

Could Lin shoot well enough from the perimeter when defenders inevitably sagged to limit his penetration? He began the game with a flurry of jumpers. He iced it by sticking a 3-pointer behind the key in Gasol’s face, then setting up a left-side 18-footer with a gorgeous pump fake and step-in.

He made a believer of Bryant, who one night earlier in Boston had confessed total ignorance to the fuss.

“I think it’s a great story,” Bryant said, while playing down potential complications whenever Anthony returns. “I think Melo having the ball in his hands in this town is a little bit overrated. That’s where he operates, on the post. He’s not going to be the facilitator. Melo can put the ball in the basket, do what he does best.”

That said, Bryant took a few seconds to “talk smack” with Anthony before the start of the second half. He wouldn’t say what he told his Olympic team buddy. But it might have been something like, “We could use you more than these guys.”