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Kyrie is back in Boston as Nets wrap up preseason

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Washington Wizards v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

That was pretty groovy, no? Although it was only the first game of the preseason against the second team, the Brooklyn Nets had it firing on all cylinders Sunday evening and came away with a win against the Washington Wizards at Barclays Center. With this being the last preseason game on their schedule, tonight will be another chance for Steve Nash and friends to keep building up the chemistry that will carry them through the season.

The opponent tonight will be the Boston Celtics. The C’s had a rough ending to their season in the bubble, but figure to make another deep playoff run this season. They lost their preseason opener to the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, but eh.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV for the locals. ESPN2 for the national crowd. Tip off after 8 PM. A special note: Ryan Ruocco has the call ... with C.C. Sabathia handling the color.


Caris Levert will make his preseason debut. Nicolas Claxton (knee) and Elie Okobo (not yet with team) will not play.

Kemba Walker is out and won’t return probably until January. Tristan Thompson and Romeo Langford are also out.

The game

These two teams will get it on for real on Christmas Day so we’re not gonna see too much tonight.

With this being the last game before the regular season starts next week, we’re going to see the makings of the Nets’ regular rotation, Steve Nash said Thursday. That means we should see Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving push in the upper 20s as far as minutes go. KD looked rock solid in his early return to action and the more he plays, the more excited Brooklyn fans should feel.

And although it doesn’t count, and although the boo birds won’t be in the stands at TD Center, this will be Kyrie Irving’s first game back in Boston since he left Beantown for Brooklyn 18 months ago. He missed both games last season because of his shoulder impingement.

With Walker out, Jeff Teague will run point for the C’s. Boston’s ball movement stood out during Wednesday’s game against Philly and for a team looking to replace Gordon Hayward, spreading the wealth will keep everyone involved. It also helps that they have arguably the best wing combo in basketball with Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, who is now 6’10”.

Player to watch: Caris Levert

Usually, when you head to the bench after being a starter, it can be a bit disappointing. However, Levert is taking it in stride so far:

“You get a chance to examine the game from a different perspective. See how the defense is playing certain actions, see how they are going with ball screens, transition, and things like that. See which guys have it going so when you get in the game, you make that adjustment and give energy where it is needed and things like that.”

Levert had a star turn in the “bubble” and this season figures to be a huge one for the former Wolverine. Running the second unit will give him more opportunities to handle the ball and as Nash tinkers with the lineups and finds the right fit, Levert’s versatility could prove to come in handy.

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More reading: Celtics Blog