Watching all of this competitive college basketball makes me a bit sad. The Boston Celtics travel to New York to play the Brooklyn Nets in a very important game for both teams….for very different reasons.
The Celts are coming off a good win against the Miami Heat (minus LeBron James), but now have to refocus themselves on losing. A string of victories could be devastating to their tanking process, and luckily they get a Nets team that has been playing very well over the last two months.
As good as the Nets have been, they have been even better at the Barclays Center. Against Boston, they will be looking for their 11th straight victory in Brooklyn against a team that only has road wins against one conference! Deron Williams looks better and better with each game, and the time-share between him and Shaun Livingston has been very disruptive for opposing point guards on both ends of the floor. Rajon Rondo certainly has his work cut out for him tonight.
Avery Bradley has gotten into a bit of a groove lately, shooting well from three and back to playing his tenacious defense. Again, I prefer that he just sit out, but I guess he wants to earn his paychecks. In the word of Jalen Rose, I would be all for Bradley just sitting on the bench and for him to “Keep gettin’ dem checks.”
The Nets are much deeper than the Celtics, and most teams in the league for that matter. But instead of focusing on tonights’ game, let me pose this question. How much is too much for Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez? The Nets have been playing much better without him, and could be looking to move him before his situation gets worse. It may be pretty bad now, but if more reports surface about foot trouble for the big man, his stock will hit the bottom floor. Without Lopez, the Nets will likely beat the Celtics tomorrow night, and make the draft picks Boston got from them in the Pierce-Garnett deal just a bit worse! (Also, Atlanta keeps winning!)
Prediction: Nets 102, Celtics 93