It's Christmas time in the city.
New York's two NBA teams will be in action on Christmas Day but only one, the Nets, will be playing in the city, at the Barclays Center. The Nets will take on the Celtics, a team they have beaten twice already, in a noon start, only hours after all those cherubs opened their gifts and hours before their parents checked their credit card bills. The game is on ESPN, the first in an all-day marathon, as well as YES. The two teams will wear special, monochromatic uniforms, as shown in this video.
So it's a big deal for Brooklyn. The last time the Nets played on Christmas was in 2002, when the team was on its way to the NBA Finals. They beat the Celtics by 36. The last time they beat the Celtics three times in a season was 2005-06, when they won 49 games. The Celtics have been up and down all season and are one game behind the Nets in the East. They, like the Nets, have been mediocre of late, winning four of their last 10. They're 4-8 on the road and a mere 2-4 in the division.
The Celtics are in the NBA top 10 in only two categories (thank you, Rajon Rondo): assists and steals. They are woeful up front, dead last in rebounding and offensive rebounding and 27th in points in the paint. To make matters worse, Chris Wilcox is out for a month, having sprained his right thumb. No wonder Avery Johnson wants to pair up Brook Lopez and Andray Blatche. The Celtics miss Ray Allen more than they let on. They are 28th this season in three pointers made. They start fast but fall off in the second quarter (where they're 27th) but do better late.
Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are playing well enough, even with minutes restrictions. Pierce, in fact, is on a roll. He dropped 40 and 35 in his last two games, against the Cavaliers and Bucks. Rondo is Rondo. He's tops in assists at 12.3, fifth in double-doubles with 14 and second in triple-doubles with one. But he is shooting only 24.2 percent from three.
For the Nets, expect some new plays, some old plays but mostly some energy as they try to get back on track. Kris Humphries' abdominal pain could keep him out, but otherwise, everyone is healthy, happy and wise. Oh yeah, the last time these two played, there was a fight, but hey, it's Christmas!
For local fans, WFAN's Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts will be live from Barclays Center, starting at 10 a.m. when the doors open, until ten minutes before game time, at 11:50. Jerry Stackhouse will guest host at 10:20 am...
- Brooklyn Nets Game Notes - Brooklyn Nets
- Boston Celtics Game Notes - Boston Celtics
- Power Rankings: Clippers streak to the top - Santosh Venkataraman - STATS
- NBA's Christmas schedule strikes matchup gold - AP
- Kris Humphries hurting as Celtics come to town - Mike Gavin - Newsday
- Big men set to form duo - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Banged-up Kris, Nets on cold streak - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Nets thinking win, not revenge ahead of Celtics rematch at Barclays - Stefan Bondy - NY Daily News
- Nets players downplay beef with Celtics - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Christmas Matinee Means Nets vs. Celtics, Round 3 (Video) - Ben Couch - Brooklyn Nets
- Watch Nets vs. Celtics Christmas Day on YES (Video) - David Diamante - YES Network
- Brooklyn Nets "Flex" Their Offensive Muscles - Justin DeFeo - The Brooklyn Game
- Celtics are still trying to figure out if .500 is who they really are - Gary Washburn - Boston Globe
- Celtics’ Chris Wilcox could miss a month with a thumb injury - Gary Washburn - Boston Globe
- Celtics look for some game - Mark Murphy - Boston Herald
- Celtics sign Jarvis Varnado from D-League - Mark Murphy - Boston Herald
- Celtics begin road trip with another Christmas game - Jim Fenton - Brockton Enterprise
- Boston Celtics look to find swagger as trip kicks off - Chris Forsberg - ESPN Boston
- W2W4: Celtics vs. Nets (Game 27 of 82) - Chris Forsberg - ESPN Boston
Round 3 of the battle between the Celtics and Nets - FLCeltsFan - Celtics Blog
- Avery Johnson doomed Nets with lineup changes - Amit Badlani - Sheridan Hoops
- Previewing Celtics vs. Nets Christmas Day game - Kurt Helin - NBC Sports