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The Nets and Knicks wrap up the preseason

Boston Celtics v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Forty-eight minutes to go. The Brooklyn Nets had to face the Celtics again and lost to them again. Unlike the first meeting, this one wasn’t close and Brooklyn got beat by 21 points. When they open up the regular season next week, guess who’ll they be facing? Yeah, them again.

Waiting for the Nets Thursday night will be the New York Knicks. This is the second night of a back-to-back for the Knickerbockers. They played the Celtics last night in Boston and with the Celtics giving four of their key players the night off, New York won by 25 points.

Where to follow the game

MSG Network has got you covered. Tip off is after 7:30.


Nothing doing for the Nets.

Chasson Randle broke his face (OK, he was officially diagnosed with a left orbital fracture) and he’ll be out for a while. Carmelo Anthony was given yesterday off, so he might be out here for a brief bit tonight. Derrick Rose will not be with the team after he was cleared in his civil trial for sexual assault. We’ll discuss Rose more when the two teams play on November 9th.

The game

The Nets have been throwing up a bunch of three pointers, but so far, the results haven’t been there. Brooklyn is second in three pointers attempted a game, but only 18th in efficiency among NBA teams this preseason. The Nets have been shuffling and resting players throughout the season, so the hope for Brooklyn is that as the final rotations are set and everyone gets familiar with one another, the results will (for their sake) shine through.

One consistent bright spot throughout the month has been Jeremy Lin. Lin has averaged around 16 points and five assists a night while shooting an impressive 60.6 percent from the field and 47.1 percent from deep. His minutes figure to be on the low side tonight as he goes through a dry run for the season opener next week.

Lin and his Brook-lin partner, Brook Lopez, have been bonding lately ... two California guys a long way from home. Maybe we see some pick-and-roll from them tonight.

Joakim Noah has been sidelined for much of the preseason with a hamstring injury, but made his debut against Boston on Saturday. With this being the second night of a back-to-back, no idea if/how long he plays tonight, but if he does, Brook Lopez will be a good matchup for him. The Nets offense is still working things out, and the most important thing for them to figure out is how to get the most out of their star big man. He’s been taking more threes than usual, and it’ll be interesting to see how and where Kenny Atkinson has him working within the offense.

Player to watch: Greivis Vasquez

Vasquez was given the night off in Boston, but he should be out there tonight. He will be the main backup to Lin at the point guard position. Vasquez is looking to reestablish himself after an injury filled 2015 in Milwaukee and will need to create good opportunities for the second unit. So far the second unit has struggled and if the Nets hope to surprise people this season, Vasquez is going to have to lead the way for them.

Brandon Jennings has been handling all of the point guard duties for the Knicks with Rose out. The numbers haven’t been there for Jennings, but he’s made some nice plays and is starting to become a crowd favorite at MSG. When Rose returns, there is a possibility he and Jennings will be on the court together at various points throughout the year. On the surface, it sounds like a bad mix, but maybe they will exceed expectations.