Celtics (36-19) vs. Nets (5-52)
Game time: 1pm, TD Garden. TV – CSN, Radio – WEEI-AM (850)
Bos: Pierce – 17.9 Nets: Brook Lopez – 19.1
Bos: Perkins – 8.0 Nets: Lopez – 8.9
Bos: Rondo – 9.8 Nets: Devin Harris – 6.7
Who'll go off: Kevin Garnett. He's still good enough to feast on Yi Jianlian and Kris Humphries, right?
Who needs to be stopped: Brook Lopez. The smooth 7-footer is averaging 20 ppg, 7 rpg vs Boston this season.
The C's will lose if… Remember the last time these teams met? The Nets shot 60+% in the first half and led after 3 quarters. Yes, the Celtics won 96-87 but need a 4th quarter barrage from Eddie House. We know the story. If the Celtics play sleepy defense (even against a lousy team like NJ), they could find themselves in a dog fight.
Miscellany: The Celtics are 3-0 vs NJ this season and have beaten them 12 straight times. Rasheed Wallace has made 2-of-15 treys in the last five games. The Nets have lost 12 of 13. Nets F Jarvis Hayes (strained calf) is expected to play. Paul Pierce (thumb, flu) is doubtful.
Prediction: Celtics 103 – Nets 88