Making a stand: Brooklyn Nets @ Boston Celtics preview

Brooklyn Nets Logo with Gold, No.2

Like Matt Moore (better known as @HPBasketball) would say:

Gonna miss Celtics fans talking themselves into “Shavlik Randolph/Terrence Williams: Playoff X-Factor” while I’m gone.

I love being a delusional Celtics fan 🙂

While it looks like TWill is slowly falling out of the final rotation, Shavlik has made a tremendous impression on everyone so far with his quick feet and hustle plays. Always ready to help on defense and yet be in position for the rebound, the man is just all over the place. Remember all the talk about learning defensive rotations in the early season? Shavlik was signed during mid-season, and there’s been absolutely no sign of him messing up on defense.

Added Avery Bradley, “He’s player of the game to me. He played great tonight. I have a lot of respect for him. He plays so hard. And it’s hard to learn our system so fast, and I felt like he did a great job.” – Shavlik Randolph makes his presence felt for Celtics

Who else loves this guy?

Back to the Nets. We’ve played them before, nothing’s new except for our magical retooled roster. If Doc’s not planning to bench KG and PP on DNPs, this could end up being a fun game. Fun, as in we-smash-their-faces-in-and-win kind of fun.

Stat check: The Nets are 45-32 this season, sitting second in the Atlantic Division and are coming off a fresh victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.

Game time: April 11th 2013, 1000hrs AEST

Watch it on: NBA League Pass and ESPN

Roster changes:

  1. Rajon Rondo (ACL) and Jared Sullinger (back) are out for the season
  2. Keith Bogans is day-to-day with a tight lower back

Top enemy performers:

  1. Scoring: Brook Lopez (19.4)
  2. Rebounds: Reggie Evans (11.0)
  3. Assists: Deron Williams (7.6)

Keys to the game:

  1. Stopping Reggie. Say what you want about Reggie Evans, the guy is in the NBA for a reason and that’s to rebound. Hell, the man had 24 rebounds (9 offensive) on the Sixers game! The Nets had an overwhelming 67-34 advantage on the rebounding column against the Sixers – such a ridiculous stat. Stifle the man on the glass, and that’s a huge chunk of them rebounds. Step up guys, we’re gonna need those rebounds so don’t forget to put a body on Mr Evans.
  2. Energy. Despite this game being a back-to-back game for the Nets, coach PJ has made sure to space the minutes out for all his starters – no one has gone above the 30 minute mark on the court for the Sixers game. Fatigue is a slight factor, but not a big one. We’re gonna have to come out the gates running, and kick them in the face right after tipoff. No excuses, we’re supposed to be the well-rested team so let’s act like it.
  3. The paint battle. It’s all about points in the paint once more. The Nets get their points by banging inside (Lopez/Evans/Humphries/Wallace/Blatche), so we’re going to have to put up the necessary defense and discipline to not foul and get stops. Now would be a good time to see how Wilcox holds out on defense. Should he be playing alongside KG as the 5 guy however, we should be good. I’m looking forward to Shavlik’s defense too!

How would you expect this game to turn out? I’m expecting a nasty bar fight. In case you’ve forgotten that incident not so long ago:

Time for payback fellas. Let’s get a win and close the Nets out. #Celtics

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