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Game 15: Nets (9-4) @ Celtics (8-6) Open Thread

 

Brooklyn at Boston
7:30 PM
TD Garden
CSNNE

Offensive Efficiency
Celtics: 103.9 points/100 possessions (8th)
Nets: 104.2 points/100 possessions (7th)

Defensive Efficiency
Celtics: 103.7 points allowed/100 possessions (21st)
Nets: 101.1 points allowed/100 possessions (14th)

View from the opposing bench: The Brooklyn Game

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We’ve got a longer preview today, via a little back and forth with our friend Devin Kharpertian over at The Brooklyn Game. I sent him over a few questions. He sent me questions. Then we both answered them. If things go well, we may trade questions again in the future. Or we may never speak again. Really, anything could happen. You can’t predict this stuff.

In the meantime, here’s what Devin had to say:

1. Brooklyn’s off to a promising start. How close are the Nets to being a contender for the Eastern Conference title and what is their Achilles heel?

Devin Kharpertian: I still think they’re a step below. Before the season I argued that the Eastern Conference was 1) Miami Heat, and 2) about six other teams. The Nets and Celtics are both in that second tier. The Nets have played really well so far; they began the season with a cakewalk schedule but have beaten some tough teams in the last two weeks, and even three of their four losses came in winnable games. I don’t think they’re close to the Heat, mostly because I don’t think anyone is close to the Heat, but I think they’ve got a really good shot at the second seed. And as Dallas taught us in the 2011 Finals, sometimes showing up begets surprise success.

As far as their Achilles heel, it’s probably still the defense. The bench mob has done an amazing job playing tough D — particularly Flail Boy Magic Mr. Floptastic Reggie Evans — but there are still a host of missed rotations and miscommunications in every game. You’ll see some tonight, for sure. It’s getting there — the system has certainly improved in recent games, and they’ve done an excellent job limiting opportunities against good teams — but it’s hardly the top-10 team that Avery Johnson’s shooting for.

2. Brook Lopez has a 24.53 PER. What the hell?

DK: He’s been fantastic. Really. Part of it is just developing this immediate chemistry with Deron Williams — 44 of Lopez’s 107 buckets this season have come from a Williams dish — but he also just looks healthy for the first time in years. He’s scoring through contact, destroying defenders in the post with his high hook, up-and-under, and feathery touch, and is just a half-step quicker overall than in previous years. Defensively, I think he’s slowed down a bit, as he’s not hedging pick-and-rolls hard as much as he did in the first few games, and guards are sneaking around him more. But given what I expected from him, he’s been all that and more.

3. As a longtime Nets observer, how’s the whole Brooklyn thing sitting with you?

DK: It’s surreal. I grew up in New Jersey and because of that have this innate sense of Jersey pride that’s impossible to shake. But Brooklyn is a completely different universe, both on and off the court. There’s a connection to this borough the Nets are fostering that was unheard of in East Rutherford & Newark. It’s certainly not all roses and sunshine — the Nets did force their way into a residential area and have left a permanently bad taste in some people’s mouths that won’t ever shake out. But in a borough with 2.5 million people, that’s bound to happen.

The fans have come together in spurts — The Brooklyn Chant has been mesmerizing in scattered doses — but Monday night’s victory over the Knicks was the first time it really came together. Nets fans came out in droves to outbellow Knicks fans. As a longtime Nets fan, that’s insane. That’s never happened, ever. To hear Carmelo Anthony M-V-P chants shut out in a matter of seconds? By Nets fans? It’s All New really rings true now.

If you want to read my thoughts on the C’s, including whether Rondo’s assist streak has been a distraction, swing by The Brooklyn Game.

PREDICTION
Boston 102 Brooklyn 91

  • Tos

    I like the cross interviews. That was a nice addition. As long as it doesn’t replace the views from the opposing players interviews.

  • jman

    Hey doc, after the 1st quarter defense was so atrocious, how about telling the boys to stay with their man. Stop double teaming it's not working…lol

    • jman

      Doc also forgot to tell yas to have the team care about winning as well. I see no soul in this team at all. I know the solution, but no one on this site would like the answer. lol Just think of #9 that's all folks. Leadership needs to be reverted back to KG. He's the leader and defense and offense needs to run through him.

  • Phil

    Worst half of the year? I might be forgetting one early in the year, but this seems like it. I can't think of one player who I'd say is playing well right now.

    • The Cardinal

      Against Detroit and Milwaukee – stunk equally as bad..

  • et2

    Why do solid role players join the celtics and start playing like Garbage. Lee was one of the Leagues top three point shooters last year. he's nonexistant this year. Green was supposed to be a 6th man of the year candidate. He looks like a rookie. Terry has his moments but he's hardly "carried" the bench like he was supposed to. Instead, our best acquisition has been Barbosa, a player that was barely see the court. This team has no length, looks lost on Defense, and is terrible to watch.

    • WTF

      Are you pointing fingers at Doc? Some of his fans here do not like that. To be frank, Doc is good, but is not the best.

    • Phil

      No one except Danny Ainge would have classified Green as a 6th man of the year candidate.

      Terry hasn't carried the bench because he's been starting for most of the year since the Cs starting SG has been hurt all year. He's also working to fit into a new team, and we're only a couple weeks into the season.

      The new acquisitions were role players, and they're playing like role players. That implies inconsistency, and the fact that they can't carry the team. The Celtics were always going to play as well as their starting 5 (Bradley included,) play. You can scapegoat bench guys all you want, but no one's really played as well as they have to for this team to get where they want. It's still early though.

      • et2

        This bench was touted at the beginning of the year as one of the best in the league. Against the likes of Evans, Blatche, Stackhouse they were smoked. And yes I point the finger at Doc. I love the guy. he's one of the best motivators in the game. But you can't expect the Celtics to keep digging themselves out of midseason holes to emerge right before and throughout the playoffs. The Spurs, for instance, manage to integrate new players into their teams, manage their aging stars' minutes, and win games. Without Green playing as one of the best bench players in the league, this team will not beat the elite teams in the playoffs. Terry has shifted in and out of the starting line up, and his production has been inconsistent.

  • someguyinsac

    Stu's going to be busy tomorrow.

  • CelticsBIG3

    Halleluja the streak is over!!!! Serve the suspension and play free. This is the best thing that could happen for this team.

  • CelticsBIG3

    The next few games may be rough but this stupid streak ending is the BEST THING EVER. Now its time to play free. Every player on the floor has been worried about making the shots off his passes, he's worried about his passes, its JUNK. Time to play Celtics basketball.

  • Switcharoo

    Right before the brouhaha and Rondo got tossed I was thinking the same thing BIG3, get that assist record out of the way so he can get back to playing the game for the team not some record. Hell tieing up with Stockton is no small order.
    Got say through I saw this shove around coming a mile off, Brooklins been playing dirty all night and these guys are only gonna let them push them arou d their own court for so long.

    • CelticsBIG3

      Not to mention free throw descripancy

  • The Cardinal

    Repeat and repeat again…most of the C's trouble center around a front line that is missing defensive rotations, is out of position and frankly, can't rebound worth a flip against quality front lines. A secondary problem is offensively, Terry, Green and Lee continue to be lost and continue to do the exact opposite of what the core three expect. Example: Rondo drives, and instead of Lee planting in the corner, he darts in allowing his man to help cut off Rondo's drive, and Rondo throws the ball to where Lee should have been but wasn't. Same happened with Terry, and only Zeus knows what Green is doing.

    I'm gonna be curious whether the offense actually gets better with Rondo having been thrown out since Doc will have to simplify the offense (which I feel he probably should be doing anyway). The rebounding and defense – huh -might as well play Collins until he fouls out.

  • Phil

    Pretty brutal stretch by Pierce right there; missed FT, followed by a missed fast break layup, followed by not giving the ball to a wide open Terry and instead bricking a contested three himself. He just looks off right now. Not a good sign.

  • The Cardinal

    Pierce has a couple of these games every season where he can't buy a free throw. Tonight is the first for this one.

  • I_Love_Green

    Damn we were right there. Chance to get it to single digits and now its back to 17.

  • I_Love_Green

    And Greenie is hobbled right now.

    • jman

      Like that matters… Didn't even notice Green was in the game lol That's how this guy plays…Hopefully Green was a deal for a trade later on…Anyone will do

  • IBleedGreen

    Could this be the worst game in Pierce's career?

    • CelticsBIG3

      Uh….. What is wrong with people tonight

  • oram

    This is really a great start from the part of Brooklyn. Since I grew up in New Jersey, it had initiated a sense of Jersey pride into me. I wish I could be present among the people who had enchanted the Brooklyn chant. I wish they continue playing with such great skills all through the game.
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