Nets-Celtics Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 10, 2013
It's been well over three months since the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics met, but extra intensity can still be expected when these teams close their season series. The Nets are closing in on home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs and can capture the season series for the first time since 2005-06 with a victory Wednesday night on the road against the Celtics. Brooklyn (45-32) won two meetings with Boston (40-37) in November, with three ejections taking place in the second one. These teams then met Dec. 25, but there was little Christmas cheer on display with a skirmish in the fourth quarter that featured four technical fouls in the Celtics' 93-76 victory. "You kind of feel some sort of chippiness between the two teams to be honest with you when we match up against Brooklyn," Boston forward Paul Pierce said. The team that has won the rebounding battle has won all three matchups, and the Celtics are wary of Brooklyn frontcourt players Reggie Evans, Andray Blatche and Brook Lopez. That trio has combined for 75 rebounds in the season series. "They're a big basketball team, Lopez is a monster so that's the challenge," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "And they are physical, they are tough, they're veterans - they match us in that. So usually those are the type of games that are fun. I don't call them chippy, I call them fun." Lopez and Evans keyed a 104-83 home victory over Philadelphia on Tuesday. Lopez had 29 points and 11 boards while Evans finished with 17 and 24 - two shy of his career high - as the Nets held a 67-34 cushion on the glass. "It isn't all about the way you look, how tall you are, how physical you look," Evans said. "It's all about that heart. I'd rather play a physical game than a pretty game. The more physical, the better it is. I like contact. I don't like running away." The Nets, who took three of four from Boston seven seasons ago, lead Chicago by three games for home-court advantage in the first round. The Celtics lead Milwaukee by three games as they try to cement the No. 7 seed in the postseason and avoid a first-round meeting with Miami. They are 1 1/2 games behind sixth-place Atlanta and two in back of the Bulls. Brooklyn coach P.J. Carlesimo rested all of his starters for the fourth quarter Tuesday, with this matchup in mind. The Nets are 6-5 in the second half of a back-to-back set after the first game was at home. Deron Williams was only needed to score 11 points after totaling 62 over his previous two games for Brooklyn. "The way they have been playing, they are one of the top-four teams in the East," Pierce said. "Deron Williams is playing his best basketball right now." Unlike the previous matchups, Williams won't have to deal with the currently injured Rajon Rondo. He could see time against defensive-minded guard Avery Bradley, who missed the first two months of the season with shoulder problems.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Tyler Eifert says he will never play in the Pro Bowl again

Australian athletes evacuate the Olympic village after fire

Russian weightlifting team banned from Rio

Wade says Riley did not push him out of Miami

Nationals among multiple teams inquiring on Mark Melancon

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

McClain does not show up for Cowboys’ training camp

Andre Johnson agrees to two-year deal with Titans

Redskins GM injures hand punching wall in frustration

Report: Aldon Smith checks into rehab

McCarthy discusses 'urgency’ to win another title with Rodgers

Report: Lions extend CB Darius Slay with $50 million deal

Storyline from 'Ballers' plays out in Cowboys preseason camp

Texas A&M creates a very sexist version of their fight song for women

Brown, Marshall are apparently serious about their car bet

Lacy, Starks could split carries to start season

Cyborg Santos post-surgery skull photos are eerie

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Hockey team unveils Clinton, Trump bobbleheads

Bennett compares chemistry with Pats QBs to his love life

Crowell still making amends for controversial Instagram post

Report: LeBron urged Justin Bieber not to perform at RNC

Luck refutes Matt Hasselbeck’s assertion he never showers

Newspaper editor explains use of Jordan meme for MJ article

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker