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Nets Visit the Garden for a Matinee Game


New Jersey Nets (0-2) at Boston Celtics (1-1)
Sunday, October 11, 2009
1:00 PM ET
TD Banknorth Garden

Game Thread l Chat

The Nets have been in somewhat of a tailspin in recent years. They may or may not be owned by a Russian millionaire and they may or may not be moving to Brooklyn. Maybe worst of all, Stephon Marbury wants to go play for them if they move to Brooklyn. They have been pinching pennies in order to try to make a run at LeBron or some other big free agent next off season. Gone are Richard Jefferson, Jason Kidd and Vince Carter and in their place is a group of young players still hoping to make a name in the league.

Given all those factors, the Nets are stuck somewhere below mediocrity and are picked by a lot of experts to finish last in the Atlantic division this season. Even though these two teams have been fierce rivals in the past, little remains of that rivalry. Paul Pierce is the only Celtic left from that 2002 team that team that lost in the Eastern Conference Finals to the Nets in 2002. The Nets have no players left from that series. However, Brian Scalabrine played for the Nets in that series before joining the Celtics as a free agent. And, Donny Marshall, who played in that series for the Nets, is now a Celtics broadcaster. Since that time, the Nets have gone into a rebuilding mode and the Celtics have built a contender.

In the Celtics' second game, Doc increased his starters' minutes from the teens to around 20 and it will be interesting to see if he holds them around 20 minutes again or gradually increases their minutes game by game. The Celtics defense is definitely ahead of their offense thus far in the preseason. They held an offensive minded Knicks team to 37% but only shot 44% themselves. I am sure that as the preseason goes on, the offense will start clicking and we will see a blow out or two.

Last season, an afternoon game pretty much insured a loss but hopefully this year's team will break that jinx and we'll see the same energy and and intensity in afternoon games as we do in the evening games. The Celtics should win this game if they give it any effort at all.

ProbableStarting Matchups
Point Guard
Rajon Rondo vs Devin Harris

Shooting Guard
Ray Allen vs Terrence Williams

Small Forward
Paul Pierce vs Chris Douglas Roberts

Power Forward
Kevin Garnett vs Yi Jianlian

Kendrick Perkins vs Brook Lopez

Eddie House
Rasheed Wallace
Marquis Daniels
Shelden Williams
Tony Allen
Brian Scalabrine
Lester Hudson
Michael Sweetney

Bill Walker (knee) out
Tony Allen (ankle) probable
Paul Pierce (back) will play

Jarvis Hayes
Rafer Alston
Josh Boone
Sean Williams
Bobby Simmons
Bennett Davis
Brian Hamilton
Tony Battie
Trenton Hassell
Will Blalock

Eduardo Najera (back) out
Courtney Lee (foot) questionable
Keyon Dooling (hip) out
Key Matchups
Rajon Rondo vs Devin Harris
Rondo has alternated between looking impressive and struggling so far in the pre-season. We saw a very confident pull up jumper in the first quarter against the Knicks but was just 3-7 from the field. He also had just 3 assists to 2 turnovers. Harris had just 5 points but dished out 8 assists to just one turnover in his last game. In this matchup, Rondo will be playing against the PG who beat him out for a spot on the All Star team last year and I expect him to try to make a point.

Kevin Garnett vs Yi Jianlian
Every game will be key for KG as he regains his conditioning and proves to everyone that he is truly pain free. But, this is also a matchup of what is vs what might have been. Danny was set to take Yi in the draft and might have if he had kept the draft pick and not made the trade for KG. I don't think there will be any Celtics fans who will be wistful about what might have been what might have been.

Honorable Mention

Kendrick Perkins vs Brook Lopez
Perk came into camp in great shape and it is showing in his game. He is more mobile and will be able to stay with the quicker centers in the league that he had problems with in the past. He is also looking for his offense more this season. Brook Lopez is one of the best young centers coming up in the league and this should be a good matchup for both teams.

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