Will Kevin Durant Play Tonight? Brooklyn Nets vs Boston Celtics Game 1: Prediction, Injuries, & Lineups

Published 05/22/2021, 12:00 PM EDT
May 6, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) and Brooklyn Nets forward Blake Griffin (2) and Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) react during the first half against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports


The Brooklyn Nets are meeting the Boston Celtics for the first time in a playoff series after 18 years. Entering as the favorites to win the series, the Nets will hold pressure to wind up the series in four games.

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With this series, interestingly, guard Kyrie Irving is set to play against his former team which he had falsely promised he’d never leave. Plus, a win in this series will pit the Nets in a juicy tie against Bucks/Heat. But before that happens, the important game will be the opener at the Barclays Center. So which side has better odds at winning?

Brooklyn Nets vs Boston Celtics: Injury Updates and Lineup predictions

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May 2, 2021; Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown fall to the ground as head coach Brad Stevens looks on at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Celtics are at a huge loss here with their star shooting guard Jaylen Brown out. His wrist surgery finished the season for the 24-YO and gave the Celtics a massive offensive blow. Apart from him, they have center Robert Williams III (foot injury) as a day-to-day decision. 

Probable line-up: Jayson Tatum (PF), Evan Fournier (SF), Tristan Thompson (C), Marcus Smart (SG), and Kemba Walker (PG)

For the Nets, point guard Spencer Dinwiddie (Knee injury) is out indefinitely. Then, the only other name on the list is guard Landry Shamet (ankle) who is a day-to-day decision.

Possible starting five: Kevin Durant (PF), Joe Harris (SF), Blake Griffin (C), Kyrie Irving (SG), and James Harden (PG)

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Who wins?

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It is true that Jayson Tatum is coming off a 50-point game against the Wizards, but the Nets are no Wiz. Even if the Nets’ defence falters on Saturday, it will be very difficult to produce one such performance. Also, he will need exceptional offensive help from Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier if they’re to stand against the fully stacked Nets. 

For Brooklyn, Steve Nash’s men will see the Big Three playing together for the ninth night in 73 games this season. Only if they can work out that chemistry and get in sync, they can blow away the Celtics in a way Brad Stevens might regret.

The Nets are #2 even with all the injury issues that kept them from playing their full potential and that proves how they’re invincible with everyone healthy and ready. Kevin Durant from the mid-range, Kyrie Irving with his creativity, Joe Harris from the perimeter, James Harden with his playmaking, and Blake Griffin under the rim, crazy.

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We predict an easy 8+ points victory for the Nets. Do you agree with the prediction? Help us know in the comments.

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Sourabh Singh

1278 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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