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Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Nets 97, Celtics 96

By Mike Mazzeo

WHAT IT MEANS: The Nets’ starters got the night off on Tuesday in Boston, which meant plenty of minutes and opportunity for the reserves.

Let’s take a look at those who stood out during Brooklyn’s 97-96 win over the Celtics.

ANDRAY BLATCHE: A night after scoring 16 points and grabbing eight rebounds against the Wizards, the 26-year-old backup center scored 23 points on 8-for-12 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds in this one. Blatche displayed excellent footwork down low, at one point finishing off an impressive baseline reverse dunk in the second quarter. He was also active once again on the offensive glass. Blatche is extremely talented and making the most of his second chance with Brooklyn thus far. If he doesn’t make the team, it’ll be because he messes up off the court -- he certainly hasn’t been been messing up on it.

MIRZA TELETOVIC: Finally, the Bosnian stretch forward showed his aggressiveness. In the first quarter, Teletovic hit a pair of 3-pointers and also displayed a nice step-back dribble to set himself up for an easy pull-up jumper. Teletovic (18 points on 17 shots) was gunning all evening, which is fine. Shot selection is going to be key for him during the season. On defense, he’s going to be pushed around in the post by stronger big men. He grabbed an offensive rebound off a missed free throw with 4.1 seconds left and split a pair at the stripe to make it 97-96 Brooklyn.

TYSHAWN TAYLOR: The rookie guard got some run in his first-ever NBA game, and did a nice job in 18 minutes of action. He’s extremely quick, and it showed when he drove to the bucket for a runner in the first quarter. Taylor also seems to excel in transition. His shooting stroke could use some work.

TORNIKE SHENGELIA: Hustled all night. And how about that baseline drive and dunk with 40.5 seconds left that turned into a three-point play to give the Nets a 96-95 lead?

REGGIE EVANS: It wasn’t pretty by any means, but with Evans it never is. The veteran stuffed the stat sheet to the tune of eight points, 10 rebounds and two steals.

PAUL PIERCE: No one on the Nets could guard him. Pierce was so hot that he probably could’ve went for 50 if it wasn’t a preseason game. He finished with 29 points on 6-for-8 shooting from 3-point territory.

UP NEXT: The Nets’ starters will take the floor again on Thursday night in Brooklyn against these same Celtics.