The Wizards have been the most well liked staff within the league heading within the playoffs. Washington completed the season 17-6 powered by the league’s second main scorer in Bradley Beal and the NBA’s whirling dervish, Russell Westbrook who once more completed the 12 months averaging a triple double.
However that was one sport. Anyone can get scorching for one sport and Jayson Tatum did to the tune of 50 points on Tuesday night. That precise playoffs and beating a staff 4 occasions in a seven-game collection is one thing else.
Head coach Brad Stevens is aware of this heading right into a formidable matchup with the Brooklyn Nets. He called them “most likely probably the most proficient staff that’s been put collectively since I’ve been within the NBA.” Now, tasked with stopping two former MVP’s and a two-time All-NBA participant that he used to teach in Boston, he is aware of that his younger Celtics staff should be practically good to tug off the upset.
“You gotta make every thing as tough as attainable. It’s simpler mentioned than finished. They’re the form of staff that you simply’re going to should problem every thing. You’re going to should maintain the basketball. You’re going to should dash to remove any simple transition baskets. You’re going to have to remove simple baskets on cuts and rebounds, as a result of in the event that they’re ready so as to add up quite a few simple baskets that means by their motor and vitality and an absence of taking part in the proper means on our half, then that turns into all these different photographs that they make change into an excessive amount of to beat,” Stevens mentioned.
By means of all the 12 months, the Nets had probably the most environment friendly offense within the league at 117.3 factors per 100 possessions. By comparability, Boston clocked in at 113.1. That’s solely a four-point distinction, however there’s an explosiveness to Brooklyn’s assault that may demoralize any staff.
Towards the Celtics, the Nets averaged 20.3 quick break factors of their three wins, most given as much as a staff by Boston all 12 months. They shot a blistering 43.7% from behind the arc and went to the road 27 occasions per sport. For Boston to also have a likelihood to steal a single sport, they’ll have to chop down on these simple buckets.
What’s even scarier is that Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and James Harden performed solely seven video games collectively.
“In a perfect world, you wish to keep out of rotations as a lot as attainable. That’s why individuals everywhere in the league have as many versatile defenders as they will the place they swap far and wide and then you definately attempt to restrict the rotations as a result of that’s inevitably how groups get layups, threes, and rebounds,” Stevens mentioned.
“That mentioned, these guys pressure a few of that with their excellent people: Irving’s potential to beat anybody in one-on-one conditions — he’s unimaginable; Durant’s potential to shoot over individuals and rating in quite a lot of methods; and Harden’s potential to try this and lead the league in assists.”
Towards the Wizards, the Celtics survived with primarily an eight-man rotation that included sophomore Romeo Langford and rookie Aaron Nesmith. With Brooklyn’s perimeter assault, anticipate extra of the identical and one other trial by fireplace for the Celtics’ younger gamers. It’s a tall job for certain, however the basis of a franchise that has gone to a few convention finals in 4 years continues to be in place.
“This can be a enjoyable problem. They’re a heck of a staff,” Stevens mentioned. “We’ve some guys in right here which have been by some huge time collection earlier than and have raised their degree to fulfill the second on a number of events and so, I’m actually wanting ahead to it.”