- REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
The new look Brooklyn Nets host the Boston Celtics in what is a highly anticipated early season meeting. It should be a close tie but Boston may be without a few key players.
For Boston and head coach Doc Rivers, tonight's game is an early season test to see how they fare on the road and how their bench preforms in the absence of key starters.
Point guard Rajon Rondo, the NBA leader with 12.5 assists per game, is questionable for Thursday's game and has been listed as day-to-day after leaving in the third quarter of Wednesday's 98-93 victory over the Utah Jazz with an ankle injury.
The Celtics are 5-3 and have looked reasonably good in the opening games, but with Ray Allen having been traded to the Miami Heat, Boston is still looking for that threat behind the arc.
Head coach Avery Johnson and the Brooklyn Nets will be looking to add to their solid start and at 4-2 have been able to show that they are not the same Nets team that won only a handful of games a year ago.
While the Nets are still a team that is building and searching for an identity, newly signed Joe Johnson has been able to work his way into a productive role with the offense averaging 15.5 points on 40 percent shooting, with the team being run by point guard Deron Williams.
The Nets' last win on Tuesday over the Cleveland Cavaliers showed that the team is able to be both efficient on the offensive side of the court while maintaining a strong defensive presence.
"It's probably the best game that we've had together," said Johnson during a press conference. "It's still early in the season, but yeah, I'm sure that's the vision everybody had, that's the vision I had and I'm sure this won't be the last (big) game. Like I say man, we're just figuring things out."
Tip-off for the game is at 8:00 p.m. ET and can be watched online here.