The Brooklyn Nets are red hot right now and getting the extra benefit of getting to play at home for a 7-game span, while sitting on a 4-game win streak.
The Celtics are sitting atop the Eastern Conference at 18-5 and have recently won 8 of their last 10 games.
This is obviously going to be the toughest task of the homestand for these Nets. But, hey, if you want to be taken seriously as a potential contender then this is the kind of game you want to/need to win.
WHO: Brooklyn Nets (13-11) vs. Boston Celtics (18-5)
WHEN: 6:00 p.m. est
WHERE: YES Network (tv and app), WFAN-FM (radio)
“In the end, you just have to hope the bench unit does enough for the centerpiece: Irving-Harris-O’Neale-Durant-Claxton. That will be the lineup to get Brooklyn home on Sunday. That five has only played 161 possessions together, but they’re a cumulative +32 in that time. How have they been that good? The defense, actually. Per Cleaning the Glass, that group is allowing a 2006-like 95 points per 100 possessions to opposing offenses. Again, small sample size; a few missed threes rolling in changes that number significantly. But that group, for now, is creating turnovers (16.6% TOV rate) and grabbing boards (21.7% ORB rate). They certainly did on Friday night, vs. Toronto.
If they can do it vs. Boston on Sunday, it could lead to Brooklyn’s best win of the season. Realistically, this is a tall task vs. a team coming off a rare loss, facing an opponent who means juuust a bit more, while losing the injury report battle. A valiant loss that Nets fans can be proud of would be acceptable, if not a tad disappointing.
But it’s a sign of how Brooklyn has turned things around under Jacque Vaughn. From a 2-6 start, they’re a half-game out of the East’s 4-seed. They’re on a real win-streak for the first time all season, despite injuries. Yes, it’s all been at home and included some soft opponents, but you play who’s in front of you. The fact that a regular season match-up in early December is this exciting for purely basketball reasons can only make you smile. A month out from the peak of the chaos, that may sound melodramatic. But we really weren’t sure if we’d see these Nets get to this point in a regular season again. Sure, there’s still a lot of work to do. Brooklyn could - and is expected to - lose this one and drop to just a game over .500. KD is playing a boatload of minutes, carrying a boatload of weight on his shoulders. It still feels like the whole thing could combust at any moment.”
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