Nets vs. Celtics Prediction
The Nets will once again host the Boston Celtics as the 2 versus 7 seed face off. James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving were able to combine for 82 points in the 11 point victory on Thursday. This battle will once again be entertaining tonight as Jayson Tatum tries to lead the C’s to a win. Look at what my Nets vs. Celtics prediction is down below.
The Brooklyn Nets have been banged all season long, but they finally got their guys back for the final regular-season game and the first postseason matchup. They have had their ups and downs but finished off the year 48-24 with a 5 game winning streak to capture the second seed in the East.
The Boston Celtics were not great to end off the regular season, plus they had to fight to get the second seed in the play-in tournament. They were even on the year with a 36-36 record and are looking to turn the tables around in today’s exciting matchup.
The Nets Must Continue To Take Pride In Their Defense
The Brooklyn Nets roster is stacked, and I mean stacked, offensively. But, none of their core guys are known to play defense well. The big three of James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant will be forced to play defense in this game if they want to end up with a win at home.
Saturday afternoon’s game was relatively low-scoring. Brooklyn’s offense felt stagnant, and shots weren’t falling as much as they would like, but they still won the game because Boston was the same way. The stars for Brooklyn shot 5/24 from three and still managed to drop 82 points. Pure buckets right there.
Guys like Joe Harris, Blake Griffin, and Jeff Green have been the core glue guys for this Nets team and will have to play better in order to take care of the Celtics after only scoring 14 points combined. The main focus for the Nets is their defense and how well they can contain Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker tonight.
The Celtics Need To Find Their Groove Offensively
The Boston Celtics have had issues scoring the basketball ever since star guard Jaylen Brown went out with an injury for the year. And that is to be expected, but role players such as Evan Fournier and Marcus Smart will have to play smarter and more efficiently for the Celtics to get consistent buckets.
Tatum scored just 22 points on 6/20 from the floor in game 1 of this series. He had his struggles all game and could not find any rhythm. Kemba Walker only had 15 points and a game worst -21 plus-minus. These two studs will have to pick up the play in order to combat the dynamic Nets offense.
Being able to fully defend the likes of James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving is nearly impossible, but it is possible to force them into tough shots. Brooklyn missed lots of contested threes in the first games and the Celtics will look to slow down anything to the rim against those stars down in Brooklyn.
Pick and Prediction
This game should be a closer game than the first, in my opinion. The odds are that Brooklyn will win by 9 or more. I will go ahead and take the Celtics within 9. Tatum and Walker will have a bounce-back game but still lose because of the star trio of the Nets. The Celtics will cover, and I would bet that they lose by around 5 or 6.
Kevin Durant will be the leading scorer with 37 points and 5 rebounds. James Harden will grab another triple-double. Jayson Tatum will do all he can for Boston with 34 points but come up short to go down 2-0 against Brooklyn.
You can watch this game on TNT at 7:30 Eastern time.
Pick: Celtics +9