Wednesday, April 10, 2013
W2W4: Nets at Celtics
By Mike Mazzeo
Looking to keep the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference playoff standings, the Brooklyn Nets travel to Boston to meet the Celtics on Wednesday night. Tipoff is slated for 8 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN. Here’s what we’ll be watching for:
GETTING TO 50: The Nets (45-32) would need to win out to reach 50 wins, but that would be an impressive number if they were able to get there. The New York Knicks wrapped up the Atlantic Division title Tuesday night. The Nets are looking to secure homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Their magic number to clinch the No. 4 spot is three. Chicago (42-35) and Atlanta (42-36) are likely going to battle it out for the No. 5 spot.
BEATING THE BEST: The Nets are just 1-8 in their last nine games against teams with winning records. They’ve struggled against those teams all season, compiling a 16-28 record vs. .500-or-better teams (at time of game played). The Celtics (40-37), playing without Rajon Rondo, are just 6-10 in their last 16 games.
CHIPPY PLAY: Gerald Wallace doesn’t seem to like Kevin Garnett all that much. First they got tangled up in Boston, which resulted in Wallace being ejected and Garnett getting a technical foul. Then, on Christmas, it happened again, when Wallace grabbed KG’s shorts. Both were assessed T’s. Wonder if something will happen again ... Coming into the season, the Nets had won just two of their last 19 games against the Celtics, but they’re 2-1 vs. Boston in 2012-13.
WILL JOE GO: Joe Johnson played just 23 minutes in Tuesday night’s easy victory over Philadelphia. Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo said he wants to get Johnson (heel) back to normal before the playoffs. Will Carlesimo decide to play Johnson in the second-half of a back-to-back? Keith Bogans (back) is not expected to play for a second straight game.