First Round Preview: Brooklyn Nets vs. Boston Celtics

The Brooklyn Nets will begin their long road to an NBA championship starting tomorrow. The Nets recently found out who they were going to be playing in the first round, and it just happens to be the Boston Celtics. The Celtics were of course the team that fleeced the Nets in the blockbuster Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce trade back in 2013. Boston was able to use the Nets’ first-round pick for 4 straight years, which netted them, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. To say this playoff series is personal for Nets fans is an understatement.

Series Being Overhyped is Possible

While the playoff series between the Nets and Celtics may get hyped up, the series probably isn’t going to last long. Rising star Jaylen Brown will be out the entire series due to season-ending wrist surgery. The Celtics were already heavy underdogs due to a very underwhelming season, which can be attributed to a number of reasons.

If the series were to last longer than 4 or 5 games, Jayson Tatum is going to have to play at an all-time high level. Tatum in his last game against the Wizards, scored 50 points to secure the 7 seed for the Celtics. Boston needs that level of production to make this series competitive. Boston is also going to need Kemba Walker to return to his Charlotte form. Luckily for Celtics fans, he played at the level against the Wizards last game.

Nets Need to Stay Locked In

Just because this series is heavily favored in the Nets favor, doesn’t mean they should take it easy. The Nets need to keep the same level of intensity throughout the entire playoffs. Remember, the Nets Big 3 has only played 8 games together. They are still forming chemistry.

If the Nets can stay locked in throughout the entire series they may sweep the Celtics. The worst thing that the Nets can do is make this matchup a competitive series. The Nets have many other teams to worry about ahead of a depleted Celtics team. Brooklyn needs to win the series as quickly as possible.

There’s a reason why the number 1 seed was so heavily coveted by the top teams in the East. It gave an easier pathway to the Eastern Conference Finals. If the Nets win this series against Boston, they will have to face either Milwaukee or Miami. Two teams who match up much better with the Nets.

Storylines to Follow

The biggest storyline of this series will be how Kyrie Irving performs against his old team. Irving of course left the Celtics controversially, which left many Boston fans soured. Irving will be playing in front of Boston fans for the first time since leaving, so expect some toxicity.

This will also be the first time where we can expect the Big 3 of Irving, Kevin Durant, and James Harden to play for longer stretches of time. Steve Nash says he expects to use only a 9 or 10-man rotation, so the superstars’ minutes will obviously be going up. The Nets may not even use a backup point guard unless they have to.

Nets/Celtics Series Schedule

The first game of the series will begin tomorrow night at Barclays Center at 8 PM EST. ABC is televising the game nationally. After that, the series schedule goes as followed:

Game 2: May 25th at Brooklyn (7:30 PM EST, TNT)

Game 3: May 28th at Boston (8:30 PM EST, ABC)

Game 4: May 30th at Boston (7 PM EST, TNT)

Game 5: June 1st at Brooklyn (if necessary)

Game 6: June 3rd at Boston (if necessary)

Game 7: June 5th at Brooklyn (if necessary)

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