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Nets and Celtics meet again, this time in Brooklyn

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Yeah, that was embarrassing. After losing to Charlotte on Wednesday, the Brooklyn Nets went to Boston to begin a home-and-home set with the Celtics. What followed was a 25 point beatdown that had C's fans chanting "Thank you Brooklyn!" They get two days off following this game before taking a quick two game road trip to Oklahoma City and Cleveland. If you thought things were bad already, they might be getting worse.

Coming into Brooklyn will be those Boston Celtics. They're leading the Atlantic Division and have a chance to expand on that lead now that Toronto big man Jonas Valanciunas has a broken bone in his left hand. Once this game wraps up, the C's will head to Atlanta to face the Hawks as the first part of a back-to-back on Tuesday evening. They head home to face the Sixers on Wednesday.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV (unless you're a Comcast subscriber), WFAN 101.9 FM on the radio. Tip off is after 6 PM. And if you're going to the game, don't forget the new security procedures.


The Nets are fine.

Marcus Smart won't play this evening due to a lower leg injury (the team announced he suffered a left knee bruise during the game). Evan Turner is dealing with a right leg strain, but he should be good to go.

The game

Here's the Celtics Blog recap of Friday's game.

When you're in a situation like the Nets are, you're gonna be on the receiving end of jokes. Lots and lots and lots of jokes. The team is a mess, their chances of making the playoffs in an improved Eastern Conference are fading fast, the fans are frustrated, and things are getting worse. Brooklyn will need to turn things around ASAP before they risk losing the interest of fans.

A day after his dad created a bit of a firestorm in the media by saying his son wanted to be traded due to a lack of playing time, Sergey Karasev came out and defused the situation. For what it's worth, he ended up playing 24 minutes on Friday, which is more than he had played combined coming into the game. It'll be interesting to see if Lionel Hollins works to incorporate him into the rotation.

We're still waiting on Joe Johnson to put together a great game. The former Celtic only played 18 minutes and scored three points on Friday night. He's having the worst year of his career and it doesn't look as if he will improve any time soon. And for a team that was counting on him to be their second leading scorer, Johnson's struggles make an already depleted offense even more limited. He'll have a tough time against one of the league's best defenses. Boston is allowing only 95 points per 100 possessions, good for third best in the league. Jae Crowder figures to be the one assigned to Johnson. He leads the league in steals and has the size to hound Johnson if he goes into the post.

With no help on the perimeter, teams can make life difficult for Brook Lopez on the inside. Lopez is a great scorer in the post, but teams will begin to throw even more double teams at him in order to force players like Johnson to beat them. Lopez's numbers looked decent enough on Friday, but they're going to need a much more consistent effort from Lopez. David Lee made all five of his shots on Friday and should get a good amount of time against Lopez. He's a very good passing big man, can step out to the elbow and hit mid range jumpers, and works well in the pick and roll. The Nets had no answers for the Celtics P&R, so look for the C's to punish the Nets if they don't make the necessary adjustments.

Player to watch: Avery Bradley

Smart's out, so that means Bradley's gonna get a bump in minutes. Bradley led all players in points with 21 off the bench. Bradley is a fine defender and currently shooting a career best 40.9 percent from three point range. As Bradley has gained more experience, he's cut down on the turnovers. His turnover rate has decreased every season and is currently at a career low 9.4 percent.

Jarrett Jack will need to improve on a disastrous game from Friday. He had been playing well over the past week, but only shot 3-8 from the field and committed seven turnovers, the second highest amount in his career. Managing possessions is always important, and the Nets will need Jack to hold on to the ball and run the offense. Jack is second on the team in usage rate, and the team is worse off when he's taking a bunch of shots. However, with Johnson playing terribly and Bojan Bogdanovic being a non-factor, the Nets are stuck with it. Oh well.

From the Vault

It's Sunday and the NFL schedule is trash (again). Spend some time watching Drazen Petrovic play against the Celtics in 1988 instead. Also, the broadcast isn't in English so playing some music while you watch is recommended (preferably Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy since today is its fifth anniversary).

More reading: CelticsBlog