Nets seek payback on Boston Parquet


It was an ugly season opener. The Nets (12-15) were in Boston last on October 29th, in a 122-105 pummeling at the hands of the Celtics (10-16). The Nets trailed 67-41 at the half, the Celtics had nine players score in double figures, and as a team shot 55.7 percent from the field, including an astounding 62 points in the paint. The Nets had no answers for the methodical offense and precision passing of Brad Stevens’s team, and the defense often looked confused.

Today, the Nets look to build on their winning record against teams with a losing record (11-2), a dubious statistic but one they will nurture as they look for some semblance of consistency this early in the season.

“We never really matched their energy,” said Mason Plumlee, who played only 11 minutes in that first matchup, a number that should significantly increase.

After scoring 19 points with three blocks and a season-high 13 rebounds, Plumlee is making a strong case to stick in the starting lineup for good. In the past seven games, the second year center has been terrific, averaging 18.1 points and 10.6 rebounds on 67.5 percent shooting, and his it appears his confidence is growing with each successful outing.

Brook Lopez, after missing ten straight games, saw action during Tuesday night’s victory, scoring six points on 3-5 shooting with four rebounds in just eight minutes. Lionel Hollins will continue to bring Lopez along slowly off the bench, but Plumlee’s play of late could keep him there for at least the near future.

Deron Williams, who practiced on Wednesday after missing the previous two games with a strained calf, will be coming off the bench for at least one game. Hollins said Williams “would probably not” go straight into the starting lineup stating his pleasure with the recent starters, including Jarrett Jack who has done a phenomenal job orchestrating the offense , averaging 16 points and nine assists the past two games.

“Part of that is Deron has been out, and if he plays, we don’t know how long he’ll be able to play,” Hollins said. “So I’d rather stay with the first group and then give him his time, and if he struggles I don’t have to put him in.”

The Celtics have lost two in a row while adapting to life after Rajon Rondo, who was recently traded to the Dallas Mavericks. Jameer Nelson, one of the returns in the trade, started at point guard on Tuesday and dished out 11 assists in 29 minutes in their loss to Orlando. Coach Stevens has been spreading the minutes around this year and the scoring attack has been balanced, led by Jeff Green (18.7 per game).

Ex-Net Marcus Thornton (torn right calf) will be out of today’s game and is expected to miss another few weeks.

Tipoff is at 1:00 PM E.S.T. at the TD Garden in Boston.