Nets-Celtics Roundtable: 3-on-3

Posted on: December 10th, 2013 by Benny Nadeau Comments

 

 

BostonGlobe

BostonGlobe

Many believed that the Boston Celtics would be tanking after trading away two of the franchise's best players in June. Well, Brad Stevens didn't get that memo and Boston sits atop the Atlantic Division with a 10-12 record.

Tonight, the Celtics and Nets face off for the first time this year-- which will pit Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett against their old teams. Pierce, who has missed the last two weeks with an injured hand, will make his return to the team off the bench. Garnett, who has appeared slow and over-the-hill, got destroyed by Andrea Bargnani last week and will look to take advantage of a small Celtics frontcourt. However, the pair of Hall of Famers have been wholly disappointing as they've both been inconsistent and old. In Brooklyn, they'll try to turn back the clocks against their old team.

Here are the three most important questions to consider coming into tonight's game:

1.  Will Garnett actually show up against his former team?

Will Rausch: I'm not a lawyer, but I guess it comes down to your definition of "show up." Will an intense, bald, seven foot man with a Kevin Garnett jersey physically attend the game? Probably. Will he play well? Probably not. Intensity and focus have never been the issue with KG, his aging body and lack of jump shot have. If someone could will his way to playing well, Garnett would have already done so. And while you may think the two days of rest might help KG, his FG% and rebound numbers are worse with two days rest as compared to one or no days rest.

Ben Nadeau: I doubt it. All bets are off when you get torched by Andrea Bargnani. If you thought the Knicks were enough to invorigate the quickly deteriorating skeleton of Kevin Garnett, you'd have been wrong. And I was totally wrong. His match-ups are nice tonight against Boston, but how many times have we said that this year?

Max Weisberg: He better. The Nets need Garnett to start playing like an average NBA power forward. He owns the worst TS% in the entire NBA among rotation players and he's committing 4.5 fouls per 36 minutes (next highest total of his career was 3.1 per 36 minutes back in the late 90's). It's time to let him go; play him more minutes as Doc Rivers recently suggested. It's time to find out whether KG's career is completely over or whether he can give one last burst of production.

Justin DeFeo: Will he show up in the physical sense? Sure. In a figurative sense? Ehh. I think at this point anything Garnett can give above "absolutely killing us" should be considered a positive. He's old and slow and the one remaining weapon he had in his arsenal, the 17 foot jump shot, is now erratic. You'd think a battle against his former team could awake the warrior within, but unfortunately I think those days are long gone.

2. So the Nets lost to the Knicks by 30, then the Celtics beat the Knicks by 41 a few days later-- what's the key to this game? How does Brooklyn avoid losing by 40?

Will Rausch: The Celtics don't have an inside enforcer to get inside Kevin Garnett's head like the physical beast/mental stalwart that is Andrea Bargnani, so I think we'll be fine. Kelly Olynyk could have provided that, but he's been ruled out for this game. The rookie seven footer may have the second worst Simple Rating in the league at -12.6 and the Celtics may be 6-2 without him, but soft seven foot white guys are Garnett's kryptonite, apparently. So breath a sigh of relief, Nets fans, we dodged a bullet.

Ben Nadeau: Throw it to Brook Lopez. Give the ball the Brook Lopez. Politely hand the ball to Brook Lopez. Make sure Brook Lopez touches the ball on every possession. Granted, it was only Milwaukee but come on! Everyone and their mothers can see that the key to the Nets' success lies in Brook Lopez. Maybe it would help if he went Andrew Bynum on them.

Max Weisberg: 40? Logically, aren't the Nets supposed to lose by 71? Oh right, this is the 13'-14' NBA season where logic doesn't dictate the outcome of games. The key will be twofold: Deron Williams and Brook Lopez. The Celtics don't have a player over 6'8" who's capable of guarding the 7'1" Lopez. If Jason Kidd is truly set on playing through his big man, tonight would seem like the most ideal night of them all. As for Williams, what will he look like? Rusty? Injured? Apprehensive? This team's success has been, and always will be contingent on the dominance of Williams and Lopez.

Justin DeFeo: I guess the transitive property (or one of those math things) would say that the Celtics should beat the Nets by 70. But, sports is more science than math. If the Nets go out and compete, they may lose, but an NBA roster should at least be able to keep the game reasonable if they compete. I wouldn't pick the Nets to win until they start showing some signs of consistency, but another big game from Brook Lopez and with the return Deron Williams, I predict this game to have as much of a playoff feel as any game featuring two losing teams could have.

3. Will the Nets get their first winning streak of the year?

Will Rausch: Yes. It's a homer pick and perhaps wishful thinking, but they have to get it together at some point, right? Again, it depends on the definition of "get it together." I don't mean become a title contender here. Let's start with fielding a team that I am confident could beat the Nets D-League affiliate Springfield Armor on a nightly basis. Deron's return has me channeling Dr. Pangloss, so let's say that return to some form of respectability starts tonight.

Ben Nadeau: Yes. I don't really know why though. It might have something to do with the fact that I've listened to Bon Jovi's Livin' on a Prayer 36 times in a row today. It might also have to do with the fact that the Nets can't be much worse than this. But why they're going to win? I don't know. Deron Williams is back, I guess. Uhm... maybe Kris and Gerald will help us out tonight?

Max Weisberg: No. I love the way the Celtics are coached and the way they're playing right now. They've got the hottest player coming into the game: recent player-of-the-week Jordan Crawford (what the hell??) and they just beat the Knicks by 41 -- a team the Nets lost to by 30. There's too many "moving parts" with Nets right now and I just don't see them edging the better coached, more athletic, more orderly Celtics.

Justin DeFeo: To quote the great Lou Brown from Major League: "If we win again tomorrow, that's two in a row. We win the next one, that's called a winning streak. It has happened before." If you call two in a row a streak, then sure the Nets have a shot of winning tonight. I tend to think that streaks consist of three or more, but I guess you have to win two to get to three. The Celtics are not world beaters by any stretch and I think if the Nets can find a healthy balance of pounding the ball inside with some timely shooting, things will look good.

Final Predictions:

Will Rausch: Nets 97, Celtics 94

Ben Nadeau: Nets 92, Celtics 88

Max Weisberg: Celtics 101, Nets 95

Justin DeFeo: Celtics 95, Nets 90

 

 

Despite originally slated to miss 2-4 weeks, it looks as if Brooklyn Nets forward Paul Pierce will give it a go tonight against his old team.

Pierce played fifteen seasons with the Boston Celtics until he was traded to Brooklyn this offseason. Deron Williams will also play for the first time since re-spraining his ankle November 20th.

 

Heat Nets Basketball

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Brooklyn Nets' Jason Terry reacts after hitting a three-point basket against the Miami Heat during an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

 

 

The Nets fell to 0-2 in the Orlando Summer League today against the Miami Heat. Despite improvements by Tyshawn Taylor and more involvement from Jason Kidd, the Nets had to scrap and claw just to stay close for most of the game. And, in the end, Miami was able to pull away and leave Brooklyn searching for their first "win" under Kidd.

Let's recap:

  • Yesterday, Lawrence Frank was in charge of most timeouts and huddles against Detroit. Frank drew up the plays as Kidd watched on eagerly. Today, however, Kidd drew up a fair bit of plays himself as he continues to  try running timeouts in street clothes rather than a jersey.
  • Kidd called a couple consecutive timeouts during the late fourth quarter in order to get a little extra practice with the clipboard even though the game's results had been decided. The NBATV Announcers commented on how both plays got the Nets a good look at the hoop.
  • Tyshawn Taylor played far, far better today. He looked more willing to pass and at least accepted the idea of a potential offense being run. Taylor ended with 25 points and tripled his assist count from yesterday to three. However, Taylor also owned a game-low -13 +/-, which is definitely something worth monitoring going foward.
  • Toko Shengelia, who often appeared invisible yesterday, definitely left his mark in a good way. It's hard to tell from the box score, but Shengelia played some nice, scrappy defense, crashed into the stands and made some incredible passes. Clearly, Shengelia needs to work on his jumper still, as his three-attempts really never had any chance of going in. I really like what Shengelia brings to the table as a versatile  balanced player that's willing to leave it all on the court-- even in Summer League.
  • Mason Plumlee had a quiet first half and then, for the second straight game, left no doubt in any spectator's mind who the best Net was. Plumlee grabbed 9 boards and ran the floor so well that Andray Blatche would have wept tears of joy. Oh, and he dunked again-- this is guy is exciting to watch and the Nets were infinitely more boring without Plumlee on the court. The rookie finished with a strong 23 points by going 8-8 from the field.
  • Oh, and most importantly: Jason Kidd did NOT get another technical foul.

The Nets don't play tomorrow, but play against the Utah Jazz at 11am on Wednesday. Hopefully we'll actually get a full, complete game out of the Nets so I can stop being so sour about losing a pointless, unimportant Summer League game.

 

On last night's 117-111 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder:

Avery Johson: I challenged our team at half-time. I didn’t like our performance in the first half. We didn’t play like the Brooklyn Nets. We should win games when we score 111 points. Give our guys credit, they came out with more energy and focus and battled on the defensive end.

Deron Williams:... MORE →

Nets-Heat Open Thread

Posted on: December 1st, 2012 by Devin Kharpertian Comments

 

Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, Joe Johnson

(AP/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Lopez out, Stackhouse in. Chat about the game here.

Remember, you can grade the players at any time.

Go Nets!

 

 

After a red-hot first quarter where the Nets made 14 of 19 shots and got at least five points from five players, the Nets stalled in the second half as Harrison Barnes and David Lee helped the Warriors claw back into it. Brook Lopez continued to score because that's what Brook Lopez does, and Joe Johnson looked like a functioning member of an NBA offense. In the first half, no less. MarShon Brooks, however, is still searching for his offense.

Also some weird bro in the crowd compared Brook Lopez to Kobe Bryant.

Don't forget to grade it up!

Nets-Cavs: Open Thread

Posted on: November 13th, 2012 by Devin Kharpertian Comments

 

Kris Humphries Brooklyn Nets Chat about tonight's game here.

Remember, you can grade the players at any time, as many times as you want.

Go Nets!

Nets-Heat Preview

Posted on: November 7th, 2012 by Chris Hooker Comments

 

The Brooklyn Nets take on the defending world champs tonight at 7:30. Here’s what is important.

TV: For the first time this regular season, the Brooklyn Nets won’t be on National Television. Well, excuuuuuuuse me. Tonight’s game will be featured on the YES Network and WFAN radio.

Starters: Since we’ve heard no change on a Brooklyn lineup, the Nets are expected to start Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Keith Bogans, Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez tonight. Bogans will start in place of the injured Gerald Wallace. Miami will be going with the usual starting lineup Mario Chalmers, Dwayne Wade, LeBron James, Shane Battier and Chris Bosh.

Season Standings: The Nets are 1-1 after blowing a 22-point lead to Minnesota Monday night, while the Heat have won 3 games in classic fashion, and blew one in an emotional post-Sandy Knicks opener.

The Nets will win if... They manage to hold the Heat to under 90 points. The Nets have given up over 100 points in the last two games. Brooklyn is a very good offensive team and will be able to secure a win if they can at least try and stop the Heat. This probably isn’t going to happen.

The Nets will lose if... The Heat play like the Heat and go on an offensive terror all night. The Nets are not a good defensive team right now and Miami will likely take advantage of that. If the Heat put up a regular Heat game, they will probably win.

In NBA 2K13: Nets... uh... win? Yup, even without Gerald Wallace, in my simulation the Nets beat the Heat 117-114 in 48 minutes of hellscape back-and-forth basketball. MarShon Brooks started and hit the game-clinching three with 10.7 seconds left, finishing with 18 points. D-Will dropped a superstar-esque 30 points and 14 assists in 40 minutes, Joe Johnson chipped in an efficient 22, and despite a herculean 46-point effort from Dwyane Wade, the Nets eked it out.
Nets 2K13 record: 3-0
2K13 prediction record: 1-1

Enjoy the game!

 

Coming off of a lackluster effort last night in their loss to the Celtics, the Nets are back in action tonight taking on the Sixers in their final pre-season tune up at the Barclays Center.

Three things to keep an eye on heading in to tonight's game:

  1. How will the Nets respond after a loss? As stated earlier the Nets were out played from whistle to whistle last night by the Celtics, so it'll be interesting to see how these particular group comes back after a loss.
  2. Minutes Watch. Coming off a game in which the starters and key bench players played regular minutes and tonight's game being the fourth in five nights the Nets will have played, expect the reserves to get a large portion of the playing time tonight, although no official word on that yet.
  3. MarShon Brooks. If Avery Johnson's plan is to rest the starters, then perhaps tonight might be a good opportunity to let Brooks off the leash a little. Brooks who's missed most of the pre-season due to injury played 15 minutes in last night's loss to the Celtics.

 

Biggie is playing, the crowd's filing in, the teams are warming up. The Nets will start their usual five, the Wizards Emeka Okafor, Martell Webster, Jan Vesely, Bradley Beal, and Jannero Pargo.