Brooklyn Nets: 3 things to watch in visit to well-rested Boston

Brooklyn Nets D'Angelo Russell (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets D'Angelo Russell (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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Brooklyn Nets
Brooklyn Nets D’Angelo Russell (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets complete a road back-to-back Monday with a visit to the Boston Celtics. It’s the 1st of 3 Monday games this month for the Nets and Celts.

Sometimes the NBA schedule makers are cruel masters. The Brooklyn Nets would attest to this as they play the second game of a road back-to-back Monday against a Boston Celtics team that last played Friday night.

Speaking of the schedule makers, they appear to have a thing for Nets-Celtics matchups on Mondays in January, as this is the first of three games in which Brooklyn and Boston will tangle on a Monday this month.

The Nets return to Boston next week, Jan. 14, and will host the Celtics at Barclays Center on Jan. 28.

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For the record, the Celtics will not be coming in off a back-to-back for either of those games, though the Nets will have two days rest before each of them as Brooklyn is not scheduled for another game on a weekend until Feb. 2.

The Nets (20-21) come in as one of the hottest teams in the NBA over the last month, with their 12-3 record since Dec. 7 matching the Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs as the best in the Association over that span.

Brooklyn has won its last three games, including the first two on their current three-game road swing.

The Celtics (23-15) have won two straight at TD Garden during their current four-game homestand and have won three of their last four overall.

The Nets are winless against Boston under coach Kenny Atkinson, going 0-4 each of the past two seasons. This is the first meeting between the Nets and Celtics this season and Boston has won the last nine against Brooklyn overall.

This should not come entirely as a shock — the Celtics have been to the Eastern Conference Finals each of the last two seasons. The Nets have not made the playoffs in the last three.

Boston could be getting a bit healthier Monday night, as forward Marcus Morris is listed as probable after sitting out Friday’s 114-93 win over the Dallas Mavericks with a neck strain. Rookie big Robert Williams is questionable with a left groin strain.

Meanwhile, backup center Aron Baynes remains out after undergoing surgery to repair a fractured left hand on Dec. 20.

Brooklyn will still be without four injured players: Allen Crabbe (right knee soreness), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (right adductor strain), Caris LeVert (dislocated right foot) and rookie Dzanan Musa (partially dislocated left shoulder).

Joe Harris left Sunday’s 117-100 win over the Chicago Bulls after turning an ankle in the fourth quarter, but indicated as he returned to the bench that he was OK.

Here are three things to watch as the Nets and Celtics meet for a 7:30 p.m. tip from Boston.