This is the second game of a back-to-back for the Celtics. Marcus Morris didn’t play on the front end. He played well against the Nets in their last meeting hitting four of five from downtown. The Nets shouldn’t be too concerned with Morris or the rest of the Celtics bench from the shooting side. However, Marcus Smart is a menace on the defensive side of the ball.
In their previous matchup, the only starting Celtics player that really burned the Nets was Kyrie Irving. Al Horford had 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks, but only had 10 points. The focus should be to stop Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. The Nets have had success shutting down Tatum, but Brown is a must stop as well.
With Caris LeVert likely out there will be a lot of pressure on Allen Crabbe and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson especially with DeMarre Carroll struggling as of late. Crabbe wasn’t good in the last meeting. No one is asking him to serve lobster, but he can do damage from the corners if the Celtics continue to sag. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is continuing to have a breakout season. So if the Celtics start respecting the corners Hollis-Jefferson can attack straight through the middle.
The Nets were competitive with the Celtics in their last meeting only losing by three. The Internet loves Spencer Dinwiddie and they should because he’s been solid and has a terrific story, but isn’t Kyrie Irving.
Irving has been the backbone of Boston this season. He is going to get his. However, if the Nets can keep the other Celtics starters down, they will have a chance. The Celtics reserves aren’t bad, but they can be taunted into taking bad shots.
It could be difficult for the Celtics to cover their five-point spread and if the last meeting between the clubs is any indication the Nets know they can keep this one close.