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Brooklyn Nets' weird preseason ends in Boston

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David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets close out their preseason at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Boston, their sixth and final game in a thoroughly weird month of games. For the record, it included an exhibition game vs. the Euroleague's defending champs, then a 14-hour trip to Shanghai, a game there, then a quick trip to Beijing, a game there, another 14 hour trip home then  three games in four nights ... before a week off.


The Nets assured themselves a winning record vs. the 76ers on Monday. A win over the Celtics would give them a 5-1 record slightly better than last year's 5-2 record.  But the Nets will be down four players --three starters-- when they play the Celtics at TD North.  Brook Lopez, out with a mild sprain, won't travel. Neither will Deron Williams, who Lionel Hollins has decided to rest; Kevin Garnett and Markel Brown, both still down and out with a stomach virus.

That would seem to mean a starting lineup of Jarrett Jack, Bojan Bogdanonvic, Joe Johnson, Mirza Teletovic and Mason Plumlee with Alan Anderson and Jerome Jordan likely to get big minutes as well. Two days ago, Plumlee got bull-dogged by Jared Sullinger, finishing with four rebounds to Sullinger's 19. Since then, he grabbed 17 vs. Philly and will likely want to prove to his coach that he can handle Sullinger.

Bogdanovic, whose admitted having trouble adjusting to the NBA ball, is in a bit of a slump. He's shot 2-of-10 the two games since the Nets returned from China and is only one of his last 13 from three.  Two other Nets appear to be fighting for their NBA careers. Willie Reed and Jorge Gutierrez didn't play vs. the Sixers and are seen as the players most likely to be cut.

Asked what he wants out of Wednesday’s game, Hollins said, "Nothing. Just that no one gets hurt."

Boston appears to be in at full strength, other than Rajon Rondo, whose broken hand may or may not keep him out of next Wednesday's Opening Night vs. Brooklyn. James Young, the 19-year-old forward who the Celtics took with the Nets pick, is expected to play after missing a couple of games with a sore hamstring. Still unresolved is Will Bynum's status with the Celtics. They've been trying to move him since acquiring him early in the week, but if they can't, they're expected to waive him, perhaps as early as Thursday.   Would the Nets be interested?  No one's saying.

Where to follow the game

Sorry. The game isn't on YES or NBA TV.  In Boston, it will air on Comcast Sports Net New England.  The game will be shown on NBA League Pass, Channel 2. NO indication its on radio in New York either.

Player to Watch: Sergey Karasev

Odd choice perhaps, but Karasev has played well when given the chance this preseason and he's likely to get some minutes Wednesday.  In the last two games --vs. the Kings in Beijing and the Sixers in Brooklyn-- he's played a total of 36 minutes, scored 16 points, grabbed seven boards, twice stole the ball and handed out an assist.  He's shot 5-of-10, missing his only three.

Karasev may not get a lot of minutes this season, but the Nets like his long term prospects. This may be the last time in a while to measure his progress.

From the Vault

Lets go back in history, two days, and watch the famed 44-minute game this week between the two teams.  You can never get too much Sullinger.  Or maybe you can.

The next time the Nets will take the court publicly will be Sunday at 11 a.m. when they have their annual Open Practice at Barclays Center.