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New Jersey Nets vs. Boston Celtics NBA Preview & Free Pick

NBA Basketball Matchup: Nets vs Celtics

The Celtics avoided what would have been a heart breaking collapse against a very mediocre team in Cleveland, and now will look to keep any kind of momentum gained from that win heading into their matchup with the Nets on Friday night.

Date/Time: 7:30 PM EST, Friday, March 2nd, 2012
Venue: TD Garden, Boston, MA
Broadcast: Local Markets (subject to change)
Spread: Celtics -6
Over/Under: 185.5

Matchup | Preview

While the Nets have had an awful go of it this season, they had a huge reason to be encouraged recently with the play of Brook Lopez against the Mavs in their victory as he had 38 points in 36 minutes.

Deron Williams has had reason to not be thrilled so far this season, but with the return of his front court mate, Lopez –things could start looking up. That is not to say they will compete for a playoff spot, but it surely will not be as bad as it has been during his tenure thus far.

The Nets have slowly brought Brook along this season, but I think that is all done now. If he can remotely keep his play up, the Nets could be a sleeper for the 8th seed.

The third key piece of this Nets attack is forward, Kris Humphries. A double-double machine, Humphries has been just about as consistent as a player can be.

As for the Celts. You have a team filled with stars that are running on quickly aging legs. Oddly enough, the oldest of the bunch looks like he is still in his mid 20’s. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

Ray Allen has been a model of consistency this season, during which he is enjoying one of his best 3-point percentage campaigns during his time in Beantown.

The Celtics are going to need every bit of it too if they are going to make another run before this fantastic trio hands the team over to star guard, Rajon Rondo for good.

Speaking of Rondo, he is still improving. He is up over 14 points per game in this balanced attack that the Celtics employ, while still dishing out nearly 10 assists per game.

While his assists are slightly down, he is averaging a career-high in points, and it is no coincidence that this occurs with his newfound ability to get to the free throw line. He is getting to the line nearly five times per game, which is nearly doubled from a year ago.

This game is going to come down to the opposing point guards. Neither usually has a problem facilitating, but the problems come in with their decision making. Turnovers have been a problem with both Rondo and Williams this season, and the guard that is able to limit those mistakes will go a long way in determining the winner.

Free Pick: Boston

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