The Brooklyn Nets (2-0) are in Boston tonight to battle the Celtics (0-2) in the third game of each team’s preseason. The action will tip-off at 7:30pm on NBA TV, and here are four things to watch for:
Reserves: Coach Avery Johnson is resting his starters tonight, so the starting unit will feature C.J. Watson, Keith Bogans, Josh Childress, Reggie Evans, and Andray Blatche. Blatche and Watson are both coming off of strong performances last night against the Wizards. Tonight, other reserves will have the opportunity to impress. Josh Childress and Mirza Teletovic will look to get on track after combining for eight fouls last night and only two field goals on six attempts. There will be plenty of minutes to go around, so other reserves will have an opportunity to earn some rotation minutes.
Tempo: On Saturday in Atlantic City, the Nets began the game playing very pesky defense, creating turnovers, grabbing rebounds and running with every opportunity. Last night, it wasn’t until Watson and Reggie Evans entered the game last in the first quarter that the Nets began to play with more life and at a faster pace. Tonight, with both players starting, it will be interesting to see how quick of a pace the Nets play and if they can sustain it.
Pick and Rolls: Of all combinations in the NBA, Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett form one of the most potent pick and roll tandems. Thus far, the Nets have done a good job with rotations on defense and clogging the paint when a perimeter ball handler tries to penetrate. Rondo is one of the best in the league, though, so, even though he’ll play limited minutes, it will be interesting to see how the Nets handle him.
Tyshawn Taylor: We spoke with Tyshawn Taylor after Saturday night’s game in Atlantic City and he told us that he wasn’t expecting to play until Thursday night when the Celtics visit Brooklyn. However, he has been activated tonight and is expected to play somewhere between 10 and 12 minutes. With MarShon Brooks still a few days away from getting back onto the court, Taylor will have an opportunity to get some minutes. In his NBA debut, it will be interesting to see how he fares.
Tonight’s Key Matchup: Rajon Rondo versus C.J. Watson
Nets Win If: C.J. Watson and Andray Blatche continue to play great and if they keep the Celtics out of transition and off of the offensive glass.