Rob Lunder covers the Boston Celtics for Rant Sports. For all Celtics news go to the team homepage on Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @rlunder18
Do the Brooklyn Nets have a realistic shot of winning the Atlantic Division over the Boston Celtics? At this current juncture you have to say yes, especially after the beat down they gave the green last week at the Boston Garden. The Nets have now defeated the Celtics twice head to head this season and obviously know that they can beat them, especially in a possible playoff series. When I look at the Nets roster, I really don’t see a great team, but you have to give head coach Avery Johnson a ton of credit. He has so many new faces and a lot of personalities to deal with. Making sure Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, and Brook Lopez are happy is not an easy procedure and they have had a terrific season thus far, sitting near the top of the division at 11-5.
Are the Celtics still the clear cut favorite to win the division? It certainly doesn’t appear that way as the team has looked pretty sluggish for most of the season. They are not rebounding the ball well and head coach Doc Rivers called out their toughness last week in a post-game press conference. If there is one thing in particular that the Celtics have been strong at in Rivers’ tenure as head coach, it is mental and physical toughness. It is shocking to see the Celtics get steam rolled so often this season, often appearing disinterested in the game at hand.
In order for the Celtics to get going and make a push in the Eastern Conference, the Celtics are going to have to play more inspired ball, and it really starts from the top with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. The Nets are clearly for real and they pose a great challenge to the Celtics this season.