Two Bold Predictions For The Brooklyn Nets Vs Boston Celtics Playoff Series

Published 05/21/2021, 6:00 PM EDT
Mar 11, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) controls the ball against Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker (8) in the second quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports


The NBA playoffs are finally set for the Eastern Conference. With their win against the Washington Wizards, the Boston Celtics secured their position as the seventh seed in the East. They will now face the second seeded Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the playoffs.

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The Celtics have had a forgettable regular season this time. After losing key players like Gordon Hayward, Enes Kanter and Daniel Theis, the Celtics brought in Tristan Thompson, Luke Cornet and Evan Fournier to add depth to the roster.

Dec 25, 2020; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics shooting guard Jaylen Brown (7) attempts to dunk the ball with Brooklyn Nets small forward Kevin Durant (7) defending during the first quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

But these additions haven’t panned out the way Danny Ainge would have hoped for. Injuries haven’t helped them either. Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker all suffered through injuries or were hit by COVID.

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With the team failing to field their best players and a lackluster supporting cast, the Celtics slipped to the seventh spot in the regular season. But they put up a big time performance against the Wizards in the play-in game and blew them out 118-100.

The Celtics are a difficult team to beat when they are firing in all cylinders but the Brooklyn Nets are no fluke. With Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden and multiple quality shooters around them, they are the deepest team in the league right now. Ahead of their playoff matchup, take a look at two bold predictions for the Nets vs Celtics playoff series.

1. Brad Stevens to lose his job

Celtics’ coach Brad Stevens has been one of the best coaches in the Eastern Conference for quite a while now. After trading away Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Nets, the Celtics knew they had to go for a different approach and hired Stevens as the head coach.

After a rather okay first season, Stevens turned it up a notch as he led the Celtics into the playoffs in his second season. Since then the Celtics have made it to the Conference Finals three times and could have advanced to the NBA Finals in 2017-18 season if not for a LeBron James masterclass.

Feb 9, 2021; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens yells to his players during the first quarter against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into the season, the Celtics did lose a couple of key players, but players like Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum were showing massive potential and were playing All-Star level basketball.

Both Tatum and Brown have had fantastic individual seasons and have truly transcended as the two cornerstones for the franchise. But despite their improvement in numbers, the Celtics haven’t found a way to incorporate them to a winning system.

May 2, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) and guard Jaylen Brown (7) fall to the ground as head coach Brad Stevens looks on as they take on the Portland Trail Blazers in the fourth quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Playing a much more stagnant style of basketball in the offensive end, Stevens hasn’t found much success in figuring out a system to fit both young superstars. With Kemba Walker, things looked a bit better as the former Hornets’ guard brings some pace and his incredible passing ability to the court.

The Celtics play a loaded Brooklyn Nets side in their first playoff matchup. Given how inconsistent Boston have been and the players they are missing right now, they might crash out in five games. If they do lose, Danny Ainge might be eager to make some changes to the team and a new and more experienced coach might be better suited to the team.

2. The Brooklyn Nets series might be the last post-season Kemba Walker will have with Celtics

The 2018-19 season was an absolute disaster for the Celtics. With Kyrie Irving failing to lead the team to a deep playoff run, the Celtics couldn’t progress to the Conference Finals despite being one of the favorites.

While he did initially claim that he would stay with the team, Kyrie did not re-sign with the team. This forced the Celtics to bring in Hornets’ Kemba Walker in a sign-in trade. Walker was coming off of an All-Star appearance and on paper was the perfect player to replace Kyrie.

Mar 11, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) shoots a three point shot in the third quarter against the Boston Celtics at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Walker initially had a great start with the Celtics. Averaging 20.4 points, 4.8 assists, and 3.9 rebounds per game, Kemba Walker slotted in pretty well with Brown and Tatum. But the then 30-year-old did miss multiple games due to injuries.

His injuries did pile on him in the playoffs and especially in the Conference Finals matchup against the Heat. With an ailing Walker, the Celtics lacked a closer in multiple games leading to a 4-2 loss at the hands of the Heat.

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The 4-time All-Star also missed time during the initial part of this regular season. Despite missing 11 games and coming back from injury, the 6’0 guard looked out of his element and was pretty inconsistent as well. As soon as he gained some momentum, he would suffer from an injury again.

Jan 17, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker (8) drives to the basket against the New York Knicks in the second quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

If Walker doesn’t step up against the Nets and doesn’t help the Celtics put up a fight, he definitely will be in the hot seat. Given how injury prone he is, Ainge and the Celtics will look to trade him next season. A pass first guard will be their priority, as their primary concern is distribution of the ball.

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The Celtics are missing multiple players through injuries, and a defeat against the Nets seems certain. Who do you think will win the Celtics and the Nets playoff series? Do you think Danny Ainge will go ahead with these moves if the Celtics crash out of the playoffs in the first round?

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Aditya Mohapatra

837 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

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