The Celtics are looking at their next two games, tonight at the Garden against Brooklyn and at Miami on Friday, with varying degrees of emphasis.

Paul Pierce thinks the Nets will be a good measuring point heading into the last five regular-season games.

“Brooklyn’s one of the better teams in the East,” he said. “I really expect this to be a playoff-type atmosphere. The way they’ve been playing, they’re one of the top four teams in the East. Deron Williams is playing his best basketball right now. And you kind of feel some sort of chippiness between the two teams, to be honest with you, when we match up against Brooklyn. So it’s definitely a good test for a lot of us and a lot of the new guys also.”

Coach Doc Rivers sized the Nets up thusly: “They’re big. They’re a big basketball team. (Brook) Lopez is a monster. So that’s the challenge. They’re physical and they’re tough and they’re veterans. They match us in that. Those are the type of games that are fun. I don’t call them chippy, I call them fun.”

But Rivers stopped short of finding postseason meaning in anything that happens against the Nets or Heat.

“I’ve got a feeling the playoffs will be different no matter what we do in these games,” Rivers said. “We want to just keep building and playing better. We’ve got our troops for the most part, so that’s the only important part for us. Other than that, as far as gauging where you’re at, I don’t think you do gauge in the regular season. You just prepare your team and get ready for the playoffs.”

Said Kevin Garnett of the remainder of the season, “Well, rhythm is important. Chemistry is important. Those things are very, very small details, but they’re very important. Everybody wants to go into the playoffs playing well, having a rhythm and having that chemistry.”