Moke Hamilton, SNYNets.com
NEW YORK — Tonight, at 8pm ET, the Boston Celtics will make their first appearance in Barclays Center as they attempt to get revenge on the Brooklyn Nets for the victory they stole in Boston on Tuesday night. The game will be televised by TNT, and it should be as entertaining a game as any preseason game can be.
Here is your Pre-Game Primer…
Avery Johnson on Brook Lopez
“Overall, he’s really trying. He’s playing against Andray Blatche and Reggie everyday and that’s no small order. On the court, we want him to be a presence inside. We know he can score, but he want him to defend the paint for us this year. We want him to raise his level of rebound attempt percentage. We think if he raises that, he’s gonna get more. He has a goal for every game of where he should be and he’s not there.”
Brooks to Debut, Watson Resting
MarShon Brooks will play tonight in what will be his preseason debut. Brooks has been battling right foot tendinitis, but will get some minutes tonight. “We got a few different things we’re gonna tinker with. He’s lost some time, he’s lost some game conditioning, so we’ll see how he functions,” coach Johnson said prior to tip-off.
C.J. Watson will be given the night off and so will Keith Bogans. The primary backup point guard slot will probably be played by Tyshawn Taylor, who will get some playing time as the rookie will attempt to follow up his strong debut on Tuesday night when he scored six points and dished out five assists in just 18 minutes. He’s expected to get a similar amount of playing time tonight.
Joe Johnson Will “Anchor” Second Unit
Coach Johnson said that Joe Johnson will continue to play a lot of minutes with the second unit. Coach Johnson made it clear, though, that this does not mean that Johnson will be playing less with Deron Williams.
The Revenge Factor
The Celtics have been somewhat respectful of the Nets over the past few days, most notably, when both Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett said that their days of easily dominating the Atlantic division are probably over. Though the Nets pulled off an improbable comeback victory on Tuesday, key players for both sides were on the bench during the game’s pivotal moments. And the Celtics didn’t get an opportunity to see how the Nets starters would fare against them.
It’s only preseason, but a proud team like the Celtics probably doesn’t want the Nets to get too used to beating them.
Barbosa Not Active
News broke yesterday that the Celtics have agreed to terms on a contract to bring in Leandro Barbosa. As of this morning, Barbosa’s signing was yet to be officially announced by the Celtics and he is not active for tonight’s game.
The Home Crowd
After drawing a little over 14,000 fans in the first game at Barclays on Monday night against the Wizards, the Nets will be playing the Celtics, a team that traditionally draws very well on the road. It will be interesting to see whether the crowd will be mostly pro-Celtics—as was often the case in New Jersey—or if the Nets will enjoy the type of home court advantage they’ve been hoping for.
Tip-Off is at 8pm ET.