The Brooklyn Nets travel to Boston tonight to face the Celtics for a chance extend their winning streak to five games.
|7-3||Last 10 Games||2-8|
|103.1||Points scored per 100 possessions||98.6|
|104.2||Points allowed per 100 possessions||103.6|
|94.07||Possessions per game||96.07|
|45.2%||Field goal percentage||43.4%|
|Joe Johnson (15.0)||Top Scorer||Jeff Green (16.8)|
Projected starting lineup: Rajon Rondo, Jerryd Bayless, Jeff Green, Brandon Bass, Kris Humphries
After a stronger start to the season than many envisioned, the Celtics have recently hit the skids. First year head coach Brad Stevens hasn’t been dealt the best roster and it shows with their 28th ranked offense. They just lost their locker room leader Gerald Wallace to a season-ending knee injury, and have won just one of the last EIGHT games.
Oddly enough, of the nine total players dealt this summer in the blockbuster trade that allowed the Nets to acquire Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, only two will suit up for tonight’s affair — Pierce and Celtics forward Kris Humphries. The Nets are missing Kevin Garnett (back spasms) and possibly Joe Johnson (illness). The Celtics will be without Wallace, guard Avery Bradley, and center Vitor Faverani.
Though the Nets have been winning, they’ve had one persistent issue this season: the difference in defensive production between their starters and their bench. Per NBA.com/stats, the Nets’ starting unit ranks 9th in defensive efficiency among all starting units in the league this season. Their bench? 29th among all bench units, only ahead of the lowly Knicks.
The Nets have been a turnover-forcing machine in their last few games without Kevin Garnett and don’t expect that to stop tonight: the Celtics rank 27th in the NBA in turnover percentage. With just 23 games to play, the Nets are just three games behind Toronto for the third in the Eastern Conference playoffs. At this point, every game is crucial.
The last time the Nets were in Boston, it was a roller coaster for Paul Pierce. This time though, Pierce doesn’t think it will be as emotional.