New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics – Barclays Center – 7:00 pm (ET)
After a monumental victory against the Indiana Pacers, The Boston Celtics look to go 5-0 to start the 2023-24 season as they face the 2-2 Brooklyn Nets. Will the Celtics stick to the same starting five and continue their early season dominance? Predictions, lineups, injury reports, and more.
Will the Boston Celtics Stick to their usual starting five or will Joe Mazzulla change things up a bit?
It’s hard to see Mazzulla wanting to make a change following the second-biggest win in franchise history. The points were evenly shared amongst the starters and the rotation, with Jayson Tatum ending the third quarter with 30 points, 12 rebounds, and four assists, leaving him the right to sit out the fourth entirely. After a showing like that, Tatum shows the NBA world that he, and the Celtics, will not be messed with this season.
As the 10,000-point milestone approaches for Tatum, I can almost guarantee this good run of form continues for Boston’s Star man.
Since the subpar opening night for Jaylen Brown, his contributions to the team have been back to what we have come to expect. If the Celtics are to be successful, we need this form to stay as consistent as possible. I know Brown has it in him to play at an All-Star level again this year, even with the highly talented offensive and defensive acquisitions the Celtics made this offseason. Is Brown still the No.2 option behind Tatum since these acquisitions? Or is Kristaps Porzingis gradually stealing that role?
The rotational minutes were generously distributed during the Celtic’s one-sided clash with the Pacers, and those minutes were well used. Players like Pritchard, Hauser, and Banton all capitalized on the chances they were given during this game.
Hauser vs. Pacers: 17 points, three rebounds, shooting at 5-6 (83.3%) from beyond the arc.
Pritchard vs. Pacers: 15 points, four rebounds, nine assists, shooting at 6-10 (60%) from the field, and 2-3 (66.6%) from beyond the arc.
Banton vs. Pacers: 11 points, three rebounds, one assist, one steal, shooting at 4-4 (100%) from the field.
This is the kind of contribution the Celtics require from their bench if the highly sought-after Banner No.18 is to be hung in the rafters of TD Garden. I was feeling positive about the C’s depth following a successful preseason run, but their form has dipped since then. Will this be one of those rarities from the Celtics rotation, or is this the start of their from building momentum?
Boston Celtics Predicted Lineup.
PG: Derrick White
SG: Jrue Holiday
SF: Jaylen Brown
PF: Jayson Tatum
C: Kristaps Porzingis
With the excellent form the Celtics have built during the opening four games, I don’t think Mazzulla will be in any rush to make any drastic changes. I expect the same five to begin their matchup with the Nets in Brooklyn unless Mazzulla wants to experiment with a different starting unit/rest his main guys.
Brooklyn Nets Predicted Lineups
With a respectable start to their regular season campaign, the Brooklyn Nets will want to get into the positive win/loss collum following their matchup with the Celtics on Saturday night. Following their hard-fought victory over the Heat, the Nets will be feeling optimistic heading into this one – but they won’t be the only side feeling positive about this game.
Although the Nets have been dealing with some injury issues lately, their form has been better than some might have expected, especially considering the shortened availability list as of late. Players such as Mikal Bridges, Cam Thomas, Dorian Finney-Smith, and even Ben Simmons have been massive reasons as to why the Nets are 2-2 right now. Will they have a positive record after their clash with the C’s?
Even though Simmons’s scoring hasn’t been hitting the heights that it used to, his all-round contributions to the team have been invaluable. There is a reason that Shaq has Simmons as his favorite to win the Most Improved Player following this season. Can he maintain this level when it comes to his all-round contributions to the team?
With the Net’s first In-Season Tournament game coming the night before their clash with the Celtics, there may be a need to rotate the starting five throughout both matchups. It all depends on whether the In-Season Tournament or the NBA games come as a higher priority for Brooklyn, and I think most teams in this situation would prioritize the regular season fixtures. Therefore, I’m going with the same five that started for them against the Heat.
Brooklyn Nets Predicted Lineups
PG: Ben Simmons
SG: Cam Thomas
SF: Mikal Bridges
PF: Royce O’Neale
C: Dorian Finney-Smith
I expect Jacque Vaughn to start the same five that started in their matchup with the Heat, but with their first In-Season Tournament game being the night before, there is a chance we will see some changes. Either way, this is a game both organizations will want the win.
Boston Celtics: None
Brooklyn Nets: Nic Claxton – OUT – Left Ankle Sprain
Brooklyn Nets: Cam Johnson – OUT – Left Calf Strain
Boston Celtics 127, Brooklyn Nets 103