Boston – The team-inspired DPOY (Defensive Player of the Year) boxing suit from Marcus Smart fit the occasion almost perfectly on Wednesday, after Boston rocked Brooklyn with 114-107 Heimaker In game 2 of the first round of Eastern Conference Qualifiers.
The victory propelled the Celtics to a 2-0 lead, while potentially a fatal blow to the Nets season.
“Two or three guys hit me wherever I go,” Kevin Durant said.
So it was for the star every night on earth at TD Garden.
Yes, it’s just two games. Networks can regroup and steal this chain.
History says this is unlikely. So, we’ll get into that and more in five takeaways from another major Boston lesson on total teamwork before Game Three on Saturday at the Barclays Center:
1. Another team’s total effort
We have correctly chronicled the incredible Boston teamwork displayed in Game 1 hereHowever, the Celtics simply built on that in Game 2 by slowly plugging in a 17-point deficit which eventually turned into a 12-point lead.
Jayson Tatum called the performance an “ugly game,” but you can’t help but marvel at the beauty of Boston’s resilience. Down 17 with only 1:45 left in the first inning, the Celtics made a 7-0 run with three throws from Al Horford and Tatum, who shook the edge between those plays in a transitional period from Daniel Theis’ steal. . That surge pushed the Celtics into the break 10 percent late.
Interestingly enough, Brooklyn coach Steve Nash spoke extensively with the team in the first-half locker room about raising his intensity in the second half. Nash requested “more pop” according to Nets score guard Kyrie Irving.
Then in the fourth quarter with 7:49 remaining to the left, Payton Pritchard drilled a jump back off Tatum’s assist that gave Boston their first lead in the competition. Jaylen Brown crowned his game-changing 13-2 streak — which started with 44.9 seconds to the end of the third quarter — with a driving bucket after just 45 seconds. Boston’s top scorer (22 points) On a night Tatum struggled (19 points, 5-16 FG), Brown scored 10 points during Boston’s career.
Durant and Irving spoke glowingly about the teamwork in Boston, which they see as the product of the team being together for so long while enduring so many tough post-season battles.
All but one of the Celtics’ eight scoring minutes (Derek White) scored at least 10 points.
2. Have the nets been made?
It certainly looks like that after another grueling night from Durant (27 points, 4-17 FGs, 6 TOS points) and an impressive performance from Irving (10 points, 4-13 FGs) – Wednesday marked the first time in 55 games as his teammates that Both Durant and Irving scored worse than 33% from the field.
Nets striker Bruce Brown then spoke of the need for the supporting cast to do more to help the Nets stars by cutting the basket, coming off the wing, and being more ready to shoot the ball when it came their way. But perhaps Brooklyn got into a situation too little too late.
Historically, the Nets have been 0-12 all the time when they are 2-0 down in the playoff series, while the Celtics have a record of 49-2 when they are 2-0 up. Boston’s win marked the fourth time in the past five seasons that they had won the first two games of the opening round.
The Celtics have now defeated Brooklyn five times in a row and seem to have perfected the formula for shutting down a Nets side that appears to rely heavily on Durant and Irving’s isolation due to the attack. Once Brooklyn slipped a 17-point lead, you could see that Boston finally started to fall behind Durant and Irving.
Celtics coach Im Odoka said the game plan was to have Durant work all night on both ends of the ground while keeping the bodies on him.
The last time the Nets lost a playoff after leading by 17 or more points was on the May 25, 2002 Eastern Conference Finals here at TD Garden.
The series moves to the Barclays Center on Saturday, but that probably doesn’t inspire much confidence, considering Brooklyn finished with a regular season record 20-21 at home.
3. Continuing problems shooting on KD
Going back to the start of the 2019 NBA playoffs, Durant averaged 37.1 points in unbeaten games (assuming you omitted Game 5 from the 2019 NBA Finals, when Durant ruptured his Achilles after scoring 11 points) against Toronto).
So, after Durant fired 9-for-24 in the opening game against Boston, you just knew the rebound game was in the cards.
Durant tricked us early on when he fired the gate for 15 points in the first quarter with a 4 for 7 shot. In the second half, Durant scored 12 points—all from the free throw line—while missing all 10 shots; This is the largest number of attempts without a single action in which half for him full career. Regular season and postseason, folks.
In this series, Durant scored a total of 50 points (13-41 FGs, 2-7 3 p.m.) with eight assists and 12 turns. Durant’s 32% scored over those last two appearances as his fifth-worst field goal percentage of any post-season game.
4. Tatum plays
Tatum didn’t hit the ball particularly well in Game 2 after his 31-point effort in Game 1, a display that included a game-winning buzzer hit. But the 24-year-old has a knack for delivering timely plays. Tatum showed it after a rough 0-for-5 start, which tied most of his errors without losing any quarter of his post-season career. Brown of Brooklyn deserves some credit for that, as Tatum fired a 0-4 with the Nets striker as the primary defender.
Tatum scored 12 out of 19 points in the second half. He has also spent 18 dimes so far in the playoffs; This is the largest number in any two game period of Tatum’s five-year career.
5. On the mend
Steve Nash and Em Odoka have remained a bit of a mystery regarding the rehabilitation cases of Nets guard Ben Simmons and Celtics big man Robert Williams III. However, coaches expressed optimism about both players’ progress up to this point.
We’ll know for sure if Boston and Brooklyn can expect reinforcements at some point during this opening round.
We’ll start with Simmons, who hasn’t played an NBA game since last May and is going through the process of rehabilitating a herniated disc in his back. After being allowed to call on Monday, Simmons took part in a full-contact exercise Wednesday morning, according to Nash, who added that the team will check in with the injured goalkeeper on Thursday to see how he’s feeling. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday that Simmons’ rapid progression made Monday 4’s game a realistic goal for the goalkeeper to make his Nets debut.
When asked about the report, Nash said, “That’s news to me.” He pointed out that the team “did not err in anything and did not reach any conclusions so far. I suspect [Ben] He has a long way to go before he feels ready to play.”
If Simmons feels healthy to return at some point during the series, he could potentially make an immediate impact on the Nets as a defender and playmaker alongside Durant and Irving, while also providing some flexibility in the lineup.
Meanwhile, Williams continues to recover from his meniscus tear on March 27, and has progressed to co-working 3 on 3 in training. Udoka confirmed that Boston would continue to prepare as if Williams would stay out of the entire series.
It should be noted that the original time frame for Williams’ recovery was 4-6 weeks. Odoka said there is some risk of swelling in Williams’ knee during the rehab process, and added that the center needs to manage “a little pain tolerance” as the workload increases. Odoka said Williams does a little more than that every day. His return will solidify and already stifle Boston’s defense, as Williams is a strong candidate for the 2022 NBA All-Defensive Team.
The opinions expressed on this page do not necessarily reflect those of the National Basketball Association, its clubs, or Turner Broadcasting.
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