Nets vs. Celtics preview: Brooklyn closes in on homecourt advantage in East

Mike Stobe

Visiting the Celtics on Wednesday night, the Nets can close in on homecourt advantage for round one of the playoffs.

Closing in on securing homecourt advantage for the first round of the postseason, the Brooklyn Nets visit the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night for a matchup of second-tier Eastern Conference contenders. The game concludes an exciting season series that's seen Brooklyn win two of the first three contests.

Never really much of a rivalry when the Nets called New Jersey home, games between the two franchises have been especially intense this season. With Deron Williams and company returning the team to its winning ways, Brooklyn has again become a worthy opponent for Boston's usually competitive squads.

Back in November, three players were ejected in a 95-83 Nets win. The chippy play continued in the team's Christmas Day game, a 93-76 Celtics beatdown that included four technical fouls and a minor fight in the fourth quarter.

Both those games included Celtics guard Rajon Rondo, who has been out since February.

With some bad blood brewing between the two teams, expect a hard fought game Wednesday night despite the lack of postseason implications. Brooklyn still needs to clinch the No. 4 seed in order to earn homecourt advantage, though a three-game advantage over the Bulls with four games remaining will be difficult to blow.

That advantage will be key for a Brooklyn team that's struggled against elite opponents this season. As Nets Daily notes, the team has won just once in its past nine games against teams with winning records. Getting another one Wednesday night in Boston could be a nice boost to the team's confidence.

Wednesday's game begins at 8 p.m. ET, broadcast on ESPN.

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