The Brooklyn Nets continue their #WeTalkinBoutPreseason Tour vs. the Boston Celtics in Boston tonight, and they’ll be without the top six in their rotation: All five starters will sit out, along with sixth man Andrei Kirilenko. The game will be broadcast on ESPN and YES Network at 7 P.M. tonight.
Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez are getting a rest day, as are former Celtics Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. (Garnett and Pierce traveled with the team, but are not expected to show up tonight at TD Garden.) Deron Williams will sit out as he rests his injured right ankle, though he returned to contact drills and 5-on-5 work in practice yesterday. Andrei Kirilenko has back spasms, and did not travel with the team after feeling his back tighten up during the team’s open practice Sunday.
The Nets project their starters as Shaun Livingston, Jason Terry, Alan Anderson, Andray Blatche, and rookie Mason Plumlee, though things are always subject to change before tipoff. Terry is making his debut with the team tonight, after sitting out most of training camp and all preseason games following offseason knee surgery.
Here’s three things to watch:
1) Which Nets bench will win? Tonight’s game is a test of two Nets ideologies: the 2013-14 bench vs. the 2012-13 bench. Former Nets MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries, and Gerald Wallace (technically a starter) are all due to get minutes in tonight’s contest. Keith Bogans is unlikely to play, but not officially ruled out. Can this year’s Nets bench beat up on last year’s Nets bench?
2) Livingston’s adjustment. Nets guard Shaun Livingston has looked pristine with the team’s starting lineup, earning glowing reviews from his teammates for his play. But he hasn’t played much time with the team’s reserves just yet due to Williams’s injury. How will he perform without such a plethora of offensive weapons surrounding him?
3) The crowd. The Boston Red Sox play Game 1 of the World Series in Boston tonight. The Celtics play the Nets in a preseason game in which Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce won’t attend and the Nets will rest all five of their starters. By the fourth quarter, will there be five people in the stands or seven?