Pregame Post-Ups: Zeller Returns to Boston in Starting Role with Nets

Sunday, Dec. 31 - Nets at Celtics

Pregame – Zeller Returns to Boston in Starting Role with Nets

BOSTON – Stepping onto the parquet floor at TD Garden immediately triggered fond memories for Tyler Zeller Sunday afternoon as his Brooklyn Nets prepared to take on the Boston Celtics.

It marked the 7-foot center’s first return to Boston since parting ways with the C’s over the summer.

“It was a great city to me,” said Zeller, who donned a green and white uniform for three seasons. “Boston’s a great place to play, great fans, great atmosphere, so it’s a a fun place to come back to.”

Brooklyn has also treated Zeller well, as he has been able to earn his way into the Nets’ starting lineup while averaging 8.3 points per game on a career-best 57.9 percent shooting clip from the field, along with 5.1 rebounds per game.

Brad Stevens always raved about Zeller’s work ethic and positive mindset during his time in Boston, so the C’s coach is happy to see his former student doing well.

“Tyler, since he’s been inserted into their starting lineup, has been very consistent,” Stevens said ahead of tip-off. “He’s always been able to score. I told our team yesterday, he’s probably the best rim-runner that I’ve ever coached, as far as getting down the floor in transition, he flies down there.

“It’s good to see him have success,” continued the coach. “It’s a good set-up, a good situation, they’ve got a really well-coached team that plays really well together that seems to have a good spirit together, so you’re happy for him.”

- Taylor Snow