Pregame Open Thread: New Jersey Nets vs. Boston Celtics

After a big win over the Atlanta Hawks last night, the Nets look to go 2-0 on their back-to back against the formidable Boston Celtics. Dedicated fans will remember that the Nets handily defeated the Celtics last season on the road at the TD Garden in a very surprising occurrence. The Celtics have looked very impressive so far, so a win will certainly be hard to come by. That said, Rajon Rondo, who many consider to be Boston’s best player, will miss tonight’s game.

  • Devin Harris and Brook Lopez: The pair looks to follow up on last night’s great tandem performance. Harris should have a good opportunity to break out with defensive hound Rondo out, so look for him to try to get his scoring game going early. As for Brook Lopez, he couldn’t miss against the Hawks, but the Celtics defense is a different story entirely. Look for Avery Johnson to run pick-and-roll sets frequently to exploit Shaq’s deficiency in defending the play.
  • Guarding the wing players: Anthony Morrow and Travis Outlaw are going to have their hands full containing Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. Expect the Celtics bigs to barrage Morrow with screen after screen to get Allen a look on the perimeter. As for Outlaw, he’ll need to bring his best one-on-one game to keep up with Pierce.
  • The return of Jordan Farmar: Farmar was essentially absent from the Nets offense last night, save a rather incredible long-range trey. He’ll need to step up his performance tonight in order to help the Nets win. With Marquis Daniels likely playing some second-unit minutes at the point, Farmar will have a great opportunity to help out on offense.