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Celtics look to clinch Atlantic Division with win vs Nets

NBA: Boston Celtics at Toronto Raptors Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

That was a fun way to wrap things up. On the last home game of the season, the Brooklyn Nets completed a late fourth quarter comeback and did damage to the Chicago Bulls' playoff chances with a 107-106 win. That's a great way to show fan appreciation.

The opponent tonight will be the Boston Celtics. Boston has had a fantastic season and are still within striking distance of the one seed (although they lost the season series to the Cavaliers). They beat the Hornets in Charlotte on Saturday night. Boston can clinch the Atlantic Division (and number two seed) with a win tonight.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV. WFAN 101.9 FM on radio. Tip off after 7:30.


No Joe Harris or Sean Kilpatrick.

James Young and Amir Johnson missed Saturday's game due to illness. No word on their availability for tonight.

The game

Boston won the first game in October, second in November, and third in March.

As usual with Nets-Celtics games, expect to hear a lot of conversation about the draft pick situation and what that means for this upcoming Draft. With Brooklyn showing some signs of promise recently, those talks won't be as painful as they would be otherwise.

While Boston isn't expected to make it out of the East, a great showing in the playoffs would do wonders for them. Over at the mothership, Paul Flannery wrote:

We still don't know who Boston will face when the playoffs start this weekend, but we'll have a better idea of what their path will look like by the end of the night.

The matchup at point guard should be fun. Isaiah Thomas has been on a historic scoring binge and is currently fifth all time among Celtics in single season scoring. As you would expect, the C's tend to struggle when Thomas is out of the game, so Brad Stevens has been tinkering with his lineups to find the right fit. Jeremy Lin has helped the Nets play at a highly respectable level over the past two months, and it's given Nets fans and management hope for the future. Thomas is a poor defender, so look for Avery Bradley to defend Lin.

Brooklyn has continued to search for good shots on offense and even with Brook Lopez on the verge of history, they haven't forced things on the inside. Lopez will face a tough foe in Al Horford. Big Al has been a welcome addition and his passing skills, interior scoring, and rim protection

Player to watch: Jaylen Brown

On one side is the third pick from the 2016 Draft. Brown has grown into a solid rotation player for Brad Stevens and plays an integral role in Boston's second unit. His defense has been solid and his offense has improved as the season has progressed. Thanks to Boston's boatload of assets (shoutout to you, Billy King), they'll be linked to any superstar that's on the trade market. However, they might do well to keep Brown in their plans going forward.

On the other side is the 20th pick from the 2016 Draft. Caris Levert has continued to play well and is coming off his best game of the season on Saturday evening. There was a point about a few months ago where I thought the Nets would limit his minutes coming down the stretch. However, that turned out to not be the case as Levert has settled into a nice spot of playing 24-26 minutes a night. If he continues to develop at the pace he has, Sean Marks will look like a genius.

From the Vault

At this point, it had been ten years since the Celtics last won a playoff series. Paul Pierce made sure to fix that.

More reading: Celtics Blog