Boston Celtics fans, welcome to a new feature here at Hardwood Houdini: the game day scouting report!
From now on, our gameday previews will focus mostly on the Boston Celtics, while our scouting report will take a look solely at Boston’s opponent om that date.
Let’s go to it, then!
Tonight’s Opponent: The Brooklyn Nets
Playoff Status: 5th seed in the Eastern Conference
Current streak: Won two
The Nets are finally starting to play like the team I thought they would resemble way back when the season started: namely, a playoff team.
Winners of 8 of their last 10, and riding a ten game home winning streak, Brooklyn is not the ideal team for the Celtics, who have not won a road game since February 10, to visit tonight.
It would have been easy for the Nets to pack it in following the loss of center Brook Lopez, who broke his foot back on December 20. At that point, the Nets were 9-17 and seemingly lottery-bound. You have to give Brooklyn credit, though, for pulling together and putting the loss of Lopez and their disappointing start behind them.
Speaking of putting injuries and a disappointing start behind them, Nets All-Star point guard Deron Williams is starting to play like a player who will give opposing coaches nightmares once he playoffs begin. Williams has scored 53 points on 19-of-28 shooting during the first three games of Brooklyn’s current homestand. According to Williams,
My confidence is getting back. That’s a good thing for me. I tend to play well when my confidence is high.
Brooklyn presents tough match-ups for teams, with guard Joe Johnson averaging 15.2 points a night, followed by the ageless Paul Pierce dropping in 13. 4 a game. Adray Blatche has stepped up to provide scoring (11.5 PPG) and rebounding in the paint, and since coming over from Sacramento guard Marcus Thornton has increased his scoring from 9.1 PPG to 12.2. The Nets may be playing small ball a lot right now, but it’s getting results, especially at home, where they are an NBA-best 17-2 since Christmas.
Tune in at 7:30 to see if Boston can put a dent in Brooklyn’s home record!
Tags: Boston Celtics