Tip: 8:00 PM Court: Barclays Center Watch it: TNT Hear it: WEEI
Referees: Tony Brothers, John Goble, Scott Wall
Get your tickets here: Boston Celtics Tickets
The Celtics swept the series with the Nets last season, winning all three meetings. Paul Pierce averaged over 22 points a game in the series, while Rajon Rondo averaged more than 13 assists.
Get it to: Kevin Garnett
Yeah, I know he played the whole fourth quarter last night and Doc will probably hope to limit his minutes if he can, but I’m going to give the ball to whomever is Brook Lopez is guarding every time. Run the offense through Garnett right away, force the Nets to help Lopez, and let KG decide whether to shoot or pass.
Gotta stop: Deron Williams
Regardless of whether Rondo is in or out (still no word yet as of this writing, and he’s considered a “game time decision”), DWill is obviously and elite point guard that can disrupt everything you’re trying to do defensively. If Rondo is out, the job of containing Williams is that much harder. Boston’s not great at stopping the dribble penetration as it is… if they let DWill run amok and get into the lane, it could be a long night.
The Wild Card: Kris Humphries
Lopez is allergic to rebounding, but Humphries is there to do the dirty work. He’s fully capable of grabbing 20 rebounds (he’s done it 4 times in his career) and he’s had six career games with 8 or more offensive rebounds. Considering the Celtics horrific rebounding numbers, and the fact that they’re on a back-to-back, I’m worried that Humphries will have a huge game simply by putting back second-chance points.
How we see it goin’ down
Pardon my channeling of Dennis Green (some NSFW language), but the Nets are who we thought they would be. They’re a pretty good offensive team an a below-average defensive team. That will probably make for a fun game to watch, and maybe a chance for a few guys to get going offensively.
I don’t think one of those guys will be Pierce, who has to deal with Gerald Wallace. I do think the Celtics bigs can get some work done, and I think this is a good chance for the bench to keep their roll going.
I don’t think Josh Childress is going to be able to hang with Jeff Green. And I think we’ll see either Barbosa or Courtney Lee find plenty of opportunities to put up some buckets.
I don’t think it will be easy, and I think the Nets have a sour taste in their mouths from getting whomped by the C’s in the preseason (they considered it a message being sent to a division rival), but I see the Celtics sneaking by.