It’s reunion week for the Boston Celtics, as they will play back-to-back games against the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Clippers, bringing back old faces Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Doc Rivers (and Jason Terry, I guess, but I hardly think he counts).
Pierce will be on that suit and tie with a broken hand, but Garnett (or his corpse, more accurately) will be on the floor against his old teammates. (Terry is also injured, but again, who cares?) Rivers will be roaming the sideline at the Garden on Wednesday night, this time coaching point guard Chris Paul instead of the (also injured) Rajon Rondo, and opposite his replacement, wunderkind Brad Stevens.
The Celtics’ visit to Brooklyn will be particularly intriguing, as the two teams have pulled some sort of Freaky Friday/Change-Up/Face-Off swap that finds Boston atop the Atlantic Division (10-12) while the Nets languish in second-to-last place (6-14). I was lucky enough to score tickets to the preseason clash between the diverging iterations of the Celtics at the Barclays Center. As a form of preview of Tuesday night’s regular contest, here are a few (moderately still relevant) treats to look forward to based on my notes from that sad preseason matchup:
- Kelly Olynyk is reportedly planning to return in time to play against the Nets, which means we’ll be treated to the whitest, most gangling match-up of all-time — Olynyk vs. Mason Plumlee.
- Maybe the time off for his ankle injury helped Kelly combat his foul problems, considering he managed to foul out in a preseason game the last time these two teams faced.
- With tonight’s game taking place at Barclays, there will be a constant stream of Jay-Z…but why? Now that he’s no longer part owner, is there a reason to plug and promote him like a hip hop artist repping an up-and-coming Brooklyn?
- When these teams met in the preseason, Garnett was held out, which I couldn’t decide whether to be thankful for or disappointed. I’m just thankful he’s not still with the Celtics, because Garnett has been teeeeerrible so far this season — 6.4 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 1.7 apg, and general slow creakiness attempting to galvanize the Brooklyn defense — and I can’t imagine watching his sudden demise while he’s still bleeding green. Also, that should definitely help the cause of a Celtics win.
- I’m kind of glad Pierce will be out tonight, because it was not a pleasure watching him and Jeff Green go head-to-head on the court last time. It was like watching Mr. Miyagi fight the Karate Kid for the All-Valley Under-18 Karate Championship (you know, if Mr. Miyagi were under 18).
- Back during the preseason, Terry and Rondo spent some time chatting at halfcourt during a timeout in the second half. Terry was sitting out to rest his old legs, and Rondo was of course far from returning from ACL surgery. With Terry injured and Rondo still rehabbing, those two should have plenty of time to catch up.
- I said it then, and I’ll say it now: even though Gerald Wallace is shooting 40% on 3-pointers, he shouldn’t take them. He’s attempted a grand total of 25 3s (10 made), and I can just tell it’s trembling with anticipation, just dying to regress toward his career mark of 31.5%.
- And finally, a rhetorical question to end on a really depressing note for our former Celtics stalwarts: If Danny Ainge had known Garnett and Pierce (and Terry, but, I mean, we’ve all in agreement on his status at this point) would be this bad — and if not , if for the plethora of first round picks — would he have still unloaded them to better position the franchise for the 2014 NBA Draft? Like I said, don’t answer that.
Tags: Brad Stevens, Brooklyn Nets, Doc Rivers, Gerald Wallace, Jason Terry, Kevin Garnett, Los Angeles Clippers, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo