NEW YORK — Gerald Wallace cut a reporter off before the question was even finished.
“I don’t want to talk about Brooklyn, so if you’ve got any question about Brooklyn, I’m not going to answer them,” the veteran Celtics forward said after practice here Monday.
Wallace was traded from the Nets to the Celtics in the offseason as part of a blockbuster deal that involved draft picks and several players, including Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, who now play for the Nets.
Those teams will face off Tuesday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn in what will be the first regular-season game since that deal was made, but Wallace had no interest in discussing it.
A reporter asked who suggested Wallace not to talk about facing his former team.
“That was suggested by my mom,” Wallace said. “ ‘Keep my mouth shut.’ So I don’t want to talk about it.”
Wallace hasn’t said much about the Nets, except for last week, when he gave his opinion about the struggling team (they’re now 6-14) that came into the season with championship aspirations.
“The first month is always going to be hard, especially with a new coach and they’ve got a new system, new players,” Wallace said then. “Everybody is trying to figure and learn their roles. I think the main thing for them is getting everybody healthy and right now I don’t think they’re healthy.”
He didn’t expound on any comments Monday, though he added, “Once [his mother] found out we play [the Nets Tuesday], she was like, ‘Keep your mouth shut.’ She told me to put a piece of gum in my mouth, but they took all the gum off the table, so I’m just going to keep it to myself.”
Wallace did say he was surprised at how much further along the Celtics are at this point in the season. Boston, like the Nets, is composed of new players and a new coach, yet it has won six of its last eight games and leads the Atlantic Division with a 10-12 record.
“I think the first month of the season was a real true test for us,” Wallace said, referencing how the Celtics played 18 games in 30 days.
“So it was more of a learning-on-the-job type of situation. I think we improved from it. We got better. We took a bump on the head the first four games [all losses]. We got better from that. We had some setbacks, and we’ve came back from that, so I think we’ve gotten a lot better. That whole month of November was probably the best thing that could have happened to us as a young team.”
From the Celtics’ point of view, there seems to be little emotion about the matchup against the Nets. After all, they played the Nets in a preseason game in October.
“I already saw them, so it’s just a game,” forward Jeff Green said.
Yet Tuesday will be the first time the Celtics will have played Garnett since he was traded, as Garnett sat out that preseason game.
“I enjoyed the time I had with him, but he’s an enemy now and he’d say the same thing,” Green said.
Honor for Crawford
Jordan Crawford was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week after leading the Celtics to the conference’s only undefeated record (3-0) last week.
The guard averaged 23.3 points, 6.7 assists, and 3 rebounds in wins against the Bucks, Nuggets, and Knicks while shooting 61 percent from the field.
Crawford was especially good from 3-point range during those games, hitting 12 of 23.
The shooting guard made a career-high six 3-pointers in the Celtics’ 41-point rout of the Knicks Sunday. Four of those 3-pointers came within a span of about four minutes in the third quarter.
With his hot play of late, Crawford has been silencing some of his critics, and after the Knicks game, Crawford tweeted at ESPN writer Bill Simmons, “you mad? Lol.”
Simmons, a lifelong Celtics fan, once groaned on Twitter about Crawford saying he wants to be a leader for the Celtics during what was expected to be a long season.
But Crawford said he doesn’t take any satisfaction that his recent play has left some of his doubters at a loss for words.
“Nah, I’m really just making them madder, to be honest,” he said, smiling. “That’s what I’m trying to do.”
Portland forward LaMarcus Aldridge was named the Western Conference Player of the Week.
Olynyk is close
Rookie forward Kelly Olynyk will be a game-time decision against the Nets. He has missed the last eight games with a sprained right ankle.
“It’s getting better, still a little bit of pain, a little bit of restrictions,” Olynyk said. “But better than yesterday, better than the day before. Trending well, I guess you could say.”
Player reps picked
The Celtics named Rajon Rondo as their player representative and Jared Sullinger as the alternative representative, according to a tweet from a NBPA attorney . . . Clippers coach Doc Rivers told reporters Monday that his team has agreed to a deal with veteran forward Stephen Jackson and that Jackson would join the team in Boston, where the Clippers will face the Celtics on Wednesday. Jackson, 35, hasn’t played in the NBA since he was released by the Spurs in April.Baxter Holmes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @BaxterHolmes.