Tonight, the New Jersey Nets have a rare chance to make a statement against their division nemesis, the best team in the NBA, the Boston Celtics.
I bet those Nets are fired up, right?
Once in a while, you can tell whether these guys are juiced to play a game.
This isn't one of those times.
Q. You haven't personally had a real shot at these guys yet.
Q. You got clobbered by 23 once against Boston, and were down 23 the other time. Your guys could say that your absence was a factor.
And so on.
Later he quotes Richard Jefferson saying "I don't think you really get quality games until the end of the season."
D'Alessandro sums up the mood: "In other words, wake us in April."
Meanwhile, I just got an email from Hoopsworld's Tommy Beer. Here's what he wrote:
As we know, the Celtics have lost just four games this season. (Incidentally, they are the only Boston area team to lose since the Sox dropped Game 4 of the ALCS on October 15th. Since then the Patriots, Red Sox, and Celtics are a combined 46-4. One of the cooler stats in sports right now.)
Okay, back to my original point. The C's have lost four games thus far, and they have avenged each loss with a brutal retaliation against who ever happened to cross their path.
On 11/18, the Orlando Magic beat Boston 104-102. In their next game (11/21), the Celts trounced the Warriors 105-82.
On 11/27, Boston lost to the Cavs in overtime (109-104). Their next game was the "Boston Massacre in which the spanked the Knicks 104-59
On 12/19, the Pistons beat the C's by two (87-85) in Beantown. Two days later the Celts beat up on the Bulls, 107-82.
So, I assume by now you see the pattern developing.
Namely, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and the rest of Gang Green don't like losing. And when they do happen to drop a game, they seem to take it out on their next opponent. Per the results above, the Celtics' average margin of victory in games immediately following a loss is a mind-bogglingly high 31 points!
Moral of the story, if you are an opponent - you won't like the Celtics when they are angry. It could get ugly in Jersey on Friday night.