Preseason Preview: Boston Celtics at Brooklyn Nets
You know how when you break up with someone and then you bump into them at a place you used to love to go together? And it’s the worst? Even if you’re not mad at each other and things ended because of reasons beyond your control, it still just… sucks.
That is exactly how it’s going to feel when you turn on Comcast Sports and see Paul Pierce in a black and white Nets jersey. The ol’ ex-girlfriend move. I’ve seen it a thousand times. Sure- he’ll come over and shake some hands and say hi to everyone and we’ll be cordial and say hi back, but you know he’ll be thinking, “I’m going to show them what they’re missing.”
On the other side of the coin, we will be thinking, “I don’t remember Pierce looking this in shape during the preseason when he played in Boston. Maybe if we play our cards right, we can at least be friends. Or maybe get back together down the line.” Before you know it we’re on the phone to Al Jefferson and Kendrick Perkins asking if we were a good team to play for and if they think we’re still the kind of team a franchise player would be interested in.
Tonight marks the unofficial (because it’s still preseason) official beginning of the Non-Truth era in Boston. The Celtics are on the road against the Brooklyn Nets as they attempt back to back wins against both NY teams. As reported by CelticsLife earlier today, Kevin Garnett is not expected to be in action against the C’s tonight – which honestly doesn’t bother me at all. I don’t want to see KG staring down Kelly Olynyk or Kris Humphries one second before I have to.
What To Watch For
Momentum: After a great performance and a huge win on Saturday, I would expect head coach Brad Stevens to continue to tinker with the Celtics line up.
The Bigs: Entering into the second week of preseason ball, we should begin to see a more likely starting five and rotation of bench players come into focus. As defense, rebounding, and transitional play are all high on Stevens’ watch list, I would expect to see a lot out of Humphries, Bass, Sullinger, and Olynyk tonight.
Guards: While Pressey has impressed thus far, it’s still to early to tell what kind of role all of the guards are Celtics this year. With Rondo on the bench, everyone is playing fill in. Not taking anything away from Philadelphia or New York, Brooklyn stands as the first big test of the preseason. Pressure will be mounting in other areas, so I would expect Stevens to be looking for serious court vision basketball IQ out of his guards tonight.
1. The Jeff Green Coming Out Party is still TBD. It could be tonight against Pierce.
2. Brooks, Humphries, and Crash Wallace in their first game back in Brooklyn
3. The Truth Effect is going to make a difference in this game. Not sure for who, but it’s going to get brought up a lot.