Well, that was exhilarating. Down to 10 healthy, rested players, the Nets surprised the Bucks and moved to 2-1 in the NBA’s Orlando “bubble” and sneaked back into the seventh seed as the Magic lost. All in all, a very good day.
The Nets will now move on to the Celtics. After three afternoon games, the Nets will play their first evening game. In fact, they’ll play the late game, the 9 p.m. slot. The Celtics are 1-2 in the “bubble” and like the Nets, will be playing the second half of a back-to-back, having lost to the Heat, 112-106. In doing so, the Celtics dropped to within a game and a half of the fourth seed.
Where to follow the game
Well, this will be interesting.
The game will be on ESPN, Brooklyn’s only ESPN game in the “bubble.” It will also be on YES, after a fashion. Because the Yankees are playing (a double-header, no less), the Nets will be relegated to YES2, a collection of affiliates that doesn’t include a broadcast partner. Nor is Comcast, which dominates cable service in New Jersey and to a lesser degree in Connecticut, part of the group.
Otherwise, here’s the details of where to watch. You can watch on Hulu Live (if you’re a Hulu subscriber) or on FOX Sports Go, where all Nets games can be found.
And if you want to stay up late, YES will replay the game on its network at 1:30 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. Okay, that’s out of the way!
Caris LeVert, Joe Harris and Jarrett Allen are fully expected to be back after missing the Bucks game. Unfortunately, Jamal Crawford suffered a setback, straining his hamstring in a handoff in the second quarter.
Jacque Vaughn spoke of Crawford’s injury after Bucks game: “The information I got - these are quick turnarounds after the game - was strained left hamstring. We’ll get him diagnosed to see what happens from there.” Vaughn did say he will “look forward to him being on the floor again.”
It looks like Kemba Walker, still recovering from a nagging knee injury, will not play. Boston doesn’t want him getting hurt before the playoffs. Walker played 27 minutes in Tuesday’s loss to Miami — the most minutes he has played in a game as part of the NBA’s restart — and scored 15 points on 4-of-9 shooting to go along with four assists. Expect Brad Wanamaker to start in his place.
Otherwise, the Celtics’ roster is healthy.
The game should be meaningful for both teams. The Celtics are trying to hold on to the third seed, the Nets to the seventh. Boston has been disappointing so far, losing to the Bucks on Friday, then after a win over the Blazers Sunday, lost to the Heat. All three has been close. The big issue has been inconsistency ... and focus.
“We let our emotions play too much of a part today,” Jayson Tatum said Tuesday. “We’ve just got to do a better job of just focusing on what we can control and not worry about other things.”
Tatum, still only 22, is the Celtics leader but he has had issues. In the first game back, he shot a shocking 2-of-18 overall and finished with five points. Since then, he’s been more himself, scoring 34 and 23.
“We weren’t solid, and they exposed that,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Tuesday. “Our defense has to improve from what it’s been in the three games or so. Credit Miami. They played with unbelievable intensity and togetherness tonight.”
Indeed, the Celtics have given up 118 points in Orlando.
Player to Watch: Jaylen Brown
Brown is one of the Celtics two foundation stones, along with Tatum. He’s lately been offering his thoughts on a number of social justice issues, pointing out, for example, the racist lyrics of the national anthem’s third verse.
Jaylen Brown took time to speak about the racial implications of the national anthem while wearing a “Shoot hoops...not people” t-shirt— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) August 3, 2020
(via Mark Medina/USA Today @MarkG_Medina) pic.twitter.com/gotkrQxuM9
On the court, he is the Celtics third or fourth option on offense and their top defender. In the three “bubble” games, as Brown goes, so goes the Celtics. In the sole win, a four-point victory over Portland, Brown totaled 30 points on 10-of-18 shooting, including 6-of-8 from deep, while grabbing eight rebounds.
From the Vault
It seems so long ago ... and truth be told, it was: Caris LeVert’s 51-point game vs. the Celtics back on March 3. LeVert scored 37 points in the fourth quarter and overtime...
It was also Chris Chiozza’s coming out party as well as he and LeVert pushed the pick-and-roll. And TLC played so well (16 points, 8 boards) Boston beat writers were heard to complain that their beloved Boston had been beaten by a guy they called “Timmy Love Carrot.”
More reading: Celtics Blog
- Game Notes: Brooklyn Nets - Brooklyn Nets
- Game Notes: Boston Celtics - Boston Celtics
- Nets’ LeVert looks to repeat success vs. Celtics - Larry Fleisher - STATS/TSX
- NETS VS. CELTICS: BROOKLYN BRINGS MOMENTUM TO FACE BOSTON - Tom Dowd - Brooklyn Nets
- Celtics spring leaks in loss to Miami - Mark Murphy - Boston Herald
- Court Sense No. 3 - Gary Washburn - Boston Globe