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Celtics Looking to Sweep Preseason Series with Division Rival Nets

New Jersey Nets (2-1) at Boston Celtics (4-2)
TD Banknorth Garden
Boston, Massachusetts
Sunday, October 19, 2008
3:30 PM ET
Radio:  WEEI
Game Thread    l   Chat    

The Celtics and the Nets meet once again in the preseason on the back end of a home and home series.  The Celtics snuck past the Nets 111-108 on Thursday in the Izod Center.   The Celtics' 3 stars didn't play in that game and Tony Allen led the Celtics with 32 points.  Doc has said that he is trying to get the team closer to a regular season rotation in these last two games.  Rondo's status for the game is unknown.  He said there is no swelling and if it was up to him he would play, but Doc is leaning toward resting him, even though he wants to get the team into a more regular rotation in the final two preseason games.  

It is hard to tell what starting lineup the Nets will use because in their 3 preseason games so far,  they have used three different starting lineups.  The only positions that seem set are the guard spots and everything else is up for grabs.
  At least for this game, the Nets' game notes have a starting lineup listed.  For the first game between these two teams it just said to be determined. 
Since the Nets are a division rival, they would love to send the Celtics a message, even if it is just the preseason. The Nets may feel disrespected since the Celtics held out their 3 starters in the game in New Jersey..   Expect them to try to avenge Thursday's loss in what should be a spirited game. 
Probable Starting Matchups
PG   Rajon Rondo* vs Devin Harris
SG   Ray Allen vs  Vince Carter
SF   Paul Pierce vs Bobby Simmons
PF   Kevin Garnett vs Yi Jianlian
C     Kendrick Perkins vs Josh Boone 
*Due to Rondo's ankle injury in the Knicks game, Doc may start House, Pruitt, or Cassell. 
Players to Watch    
[image]  [image]  Gabe Pruitt Darius Miles
Tony Allen Tony scored 32 points in the last game against the Nets.  He has been somewhat inconsistent and will need to show more consistency whether he gets 20 minutes or 40 minutes.     The Celtics need him to be consistent so that they know what they will get from him when he comes into the game.
Bill Walker  Bill Walker started out very aggressive and was the talk of the first few games.  But, after sitting out a game with soreness in his knee, he played sparingly against the Knicks. 
Gabe Pruitt - Gabe has been showing some good things so far in the preseason.  He has proved that he can play and now to see if he can crack the regular rotation. 
Darius Miles   Darius is still on the bubble and needs to show that he can play and that he will fit on this team.  He has looked rather rusty so far and his playing time has been dwindling.  
Vince Carter Brook Lopez Jianlian Yi 
Vince Carter  Vince Carter is still their best player and will have to get used to playing with an entire new cast this season.  He scored 19 in the last matchup between these two teams.  It will be interesting to see how long he can be patient with the rebuilding project. 
Brook Lopez Lopez got the start in the Nets' last game and played well.  Now we get to see how he does off the bench. 
Yi Jianlian The Nets have two 7 footers up front and this could be a formidable front line if they can develop chemistry and develop an NBA game. Celtics fans will always think of what might have been if Danny had made that 5th pick instead of making the trade. 
Key Matchup
Since KG didn't play in Thursday's game, we didn't see these two go up against each other.  Yi is a young and promising player, but KG is a savvy veteran who should get the best of this matchup. 
16th Man Watch
Doc has said he would like to get the team into a regular season rotation and so it will be interesting to see who doesn't play in this game and who gets the most minutes.  There is much speculation as to who will be the odd man out and today's game may reveal some of Doc's thinking along those lines.  

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