The Brooklyn Nets haven’t played a basketball game since last Thursday, but they are still in the middle of the preseason. Tonight, they will visit the Boston Celtics, who they narrowly defeated at home last week, but without two ex-Celtics, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Both players have said from the beginning that they didn’t plan on ever playing in this preseason game and instead will make their return to Boston in the regular season.
Neither player needs the extra minutes on their older bodies and both players have looked ready for the regular season in the prior preseason games. Garnett has looked especially good, being a difference maker on both offense and defense. Since arriving in Boston in 2007, KG has been known for his defense, but he has also had a huge impact on the Nets’ offense so far. By replacing Reggie Evans in the starting lineup, Garnett is able to space the floor much better which will get better looks for his teammates. Pierce, meanwhile, hasn’t quite gotten his shot falling yet, but he has had lots of good looks that he would make once he is in midseason form.
For Boston, one player who has been under the microscope recently is former Net, Gerald Wallace. At this point in Wallace’s career, he is not interested in rebuilding at all and he hasn’t been very pleased with Boston perhaps not giving their best effort on every play. It is understandable for him to be frustrated playing on this team, but he needs to remember that he is still getting paid $10 million this season, which is significantly more than he is worth.
In addition to Pierce and Garnett missing tonight’s game, Andrei Kirilenko, Toko Shengelia, and Deron Williams are all out as well. The good news is that all 3 players, even Deron Williams, are reportedly making progress and could be back in the lineup on opening night. Even though Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez are healthy, don’t expect them to play more than 15 minutes or so tonight.
One player who should be back in the Nets’ lineup tonight is Jason Terry, who has yet to play in a preseason game. He was also a part of that Nets-Celtics trade, and he may get a good amount of minutes tonight to shake off any rust he has.