The Nets released their preseason schedule yesterday, and two things stood out: the first trip back to Boston for Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry, and the absence of the Knicks.

The former Celtics are scheduled to make their first trip to Boston Oct. 23, a little more than a week after the players the Nets shipped to Boston in the blockbuster deal — Gerald Wallace, MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries and Keith Bogans — make their return to Brooklyn Oct. 15.

But just as noteworthy is the fact the Nets won’t be facing their crosstown rivals during the preseason, something that hasn’t happened in recent memory. The two teams have faced each other at least once a year going back at least as far as 2002.

Reported by Tim Bontemps of the New York Post