The Celtics proceed their residence stand with a go to from Atlantic Division rivals, the Brooklyn Nets. That is the third of 4 conferences between these two groups this season. The Celtics gained the primary recreation 103-92 in Brooklyn on December 4 and so they gained the second assembly 109-98, additionally in Brooklyn, on January 12. They’ll meet yet another time in Boston on March 3.
The Celtics gained the collection between these two groups 3-1 final season with the Celtics solely loss to them approaching Boston’s residence court docket. The Celtics additionally swept the Nets in final 12 months’s playoff 4-0. Kyrie Irving has a historical past with the Celtics as he left the Celtics with arduous emotions on each side and even made a degree to stomp on Fortunate at middle court docket after a playoff recreation.
The Celtics stay first within the East, though the margin over the second staff is shrinking. The Celtics are 2 video games forward of 2nd place Milwaukee and three video games forward of third place Philadelphia. They’re 4.5 video games forward of 4th place Brooklyn. The Celtics are 20-5 at residence and 7-3 of their final 10 video games. They’re 20-11 in opposition to Jap Convention opponent and 6-1 in opposition to Atlantic Division groups. They’re on the lookout for their second straight win, after shedding their earlier 3 video games.
The Nets are 4th within the East. They went on a run the place they gained 12 in a row and 18 of 20 video games however then Kevin Durant injured his knee and so they have struggled with out him. They’re 1.5 video games behind 2nd place Philadelphia and 6 video games forward of seventh place New York. They’re 16-11 on the highway and 4-6 of their final 10 video games. They’re 21-10 in opposition to Jap Convention opponents and 6-4 in opposition to the Atlantic Division. They’ve gained their final 2 video games.
The Celtics are taking part in within the third recreation of a 4 recreation residence stand and can end it up on Friday in opposition to the Suns. They’ll then have one recreation in Detroit earlier than returning to the Backyard for 3 extra residence video games. The Nets simply completed a 3 recreation residence stand and can play at Boston earlier than beginning one other 5 recreation residence stand. The Celtics are 136-73 total all time in opposition to the nets. They’re 72-33 when taking part in in Boston.
Marcus Sensible has missed the previous 4 video games after spraining his ankle in a recreation in opposition to the Raptors. He additionally has a bone bruise on the identical ankle that he had a bone bruise on within the Jap Convention Finals. He’s anticipated to be out at the least till February 8. Robert Williams missed Saturday’s recreation in opposition to the Lakers with an ankle sprain. He’s thought of questionable for this recreation and shall be a recreation time choice. Danilo Gallinari stays out with a torn ACL. I’m considering positively that Timelord shall be again but when not, Grant Williams will probably begin in his place.
For the Nets, Kevin Durant injured his knee on January 8 in opposition to the Warmth, and can stay out for this recreation. Ben Simmons has missed 2 video games with knee soreness and is listed as out for this recreation as effectively. TJ Warren missed the final 2 video games with a decrease leg damage and can be listed as out for this recreation. Yuta Watanabe is listed as possible with again tightness.
Possible Celtics Starters
PG: Derrick White
SG: Jaylen Brown
SF: Jayson Tatum
PF: Al Horford
C: Robert Williams III
2 Approach Gamers
Danilo Gallinari (ACL) out
Marcus Sensible (ankle) out
Robert Williams (ankle) questionable
Head Coach (Interim)
Possible Nets Starters
PG: Kyrie Irving
SG: Seth Curry
SF: Joe Harris
PF: Royce O’Neale
C: Nic Claxton
Two Approach Gamers
David Duke, Jr
Kevin Durant (knee) out
Ben Simmons (knee) out
TJ Warren (leg) out
Yuta Watanabe (again) possible
Derrick White vs Kyrie Irving
With Durant out, Kyrie Irving is essential to the Nets play. Irving is averaging 27.3 factors, 5.1 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.1 steals per recreation. He’s capturing 48.6% from the sphere and 37.8% from past the arc. Within the 2 earlier video games in opposition to the Celtics this season, Kyrie averaged 21.0 factors, 5.0 rebounds, and 5.5 assists. He shot simply 35.6% from the sphere and 25% from three. Kyrie is a really harmful scorer and so the Celtics should play powerful protection on him to maintain him from getting sizzling. The Celtics will miss Sensible’s protection on him on this recreation.
Jaylen Brown vs Seth Curry
Seth Curry got here to the Nets from Philly within the James Harden commerce. He’s averaging 10.9 factors, 2.1 rebounds, and a couple of.2 assists per recreation. He’s capturing 46.7% from the sphere and 42.4% from past the arc. Curry is an excellent 3 level shooter and so the Celtics have to stick with him on the perimeter.
Honorable Point out
Robert Williams III vs Nicolas Claxton
Claxton is averaging 13.2 factors, 8.9 rebounds, 1.6 assists and a couple of.7 blocks per recreation. He’s capturing 74.1% from the sphere and has not tried a 3 pointer this season. Within the two video games to date this season, he averaged 9.0 factors, 11.5 rebounds, 1.0 assists and three.0 blocks. He’s a rim protector and can make it more durable for the Celtics to attain inside. If Timelord can’t go, then it’s going to probably be Al Horford beginning at middle reverse Claxton.
Keys to the Sport
Protection – Protection is all the time a key to successful. The Celtics have slowly climbed to 4th within the league with a defensive ranking of 110.9. The Nets have performed respectable protection this season and are tenth within the league the league with a defensive ranking of 112.3. The Nets are a great offensive staff and are first in discipline aim share at 50.9% and second with a 3 level share of 39.4%. If the Celtics need to win this recreation they should get a robust defensive effort from each participant on the court docket and they should make protection a precedence all through the sport.
Rebound – The Celtics should field out and crash the boards. They’ll’t rating with out the ball and it’ll take additional effort on their half to beat the Nets on the boards. The Celtics are knocking down 44.7 rebounds per recreation, which is seventh within the league. The Nets are twenty ninth with 40.5 rebounds per recreation. In fact, the Nets lead the league in discipline aim share (50.9%) and are 2nd in 3 level share (39.4%) so there aren’t as many rebounds available. The Nets are 15-2 once they out-rebound their opponents so the Celtics should put out additional effort to get to beat the Nets on the boards.
Play Staff Ball and Talk – The Celtics want to maneuver the ball and transfer with out the ball and play as a staff. The Nets have an iso heavy offense that includes Irving. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown can’t get caught up in that and have to proceed to search for the open man and hold the Celtics offense transferring. After they lapse into hero ball, the staff tends to wrestle extra. They should talk on protection and share the ball on offense.
Be Aggressive – The Celtics have to return out and be aggressive proper from the opening tip. They should be aggressive on protection, driving to the basket, rebounding, diving for free balls and simply taking part in more durable basically. The Nets are 24-4 once they lead after the primary quarter and so the Celtics should get off to a robust begin and never fall behind early. Additionally they should play arduous proper up till the ultimate buzzer. They’ll’t let the Nets outwork them for any time period.
Residence Sport – The Nets are a great highway staff with a 16-11 report away from Barclays Middle. The Celtics have performed effectively at residence with a 20-5 report on the TD Backyard. They should feed off the power of the gang and hopefully, the Nets shall be distracted by journey and the very hostile crowd.
Revenge – The Nets are going to be out for revenge on this recreation. The Celtics gained the collection 3-1 final season after which embarrassed them within the playoffs with a 4-0 sweep. And the Celtics additionally took the primary 2 video games this season. Kyrie can be nonetheless trying to avenge no matter perceived wrongs he feels from the Celtics. The Celtics must be prepared for his or her greatest recreation as they appear to get a win on this one.
Officiating – The officiating is all the time an x-factor. (Simply ask LeBron.) Some referees name the sport tight and others allow them to play. Some favor the house staff and others name it evenly. Some refs simply appear to have an agenda that doesn’t match the occasions on the court docket. The Celtics should play via no matter calls go in opposition to them and never permit dangerous calls or no calls to remove their concentrate on the sport.