The Brooklyn Nets enter their first-round playoff matchup in opposition to the Boston Celtics as heavy favorites, and understandably so contemplating they’ll be at full-strength for the collection and Boston will likely be with out rising star Jaylen Brown, who underwent season-ending wrist surgical procedure.
Nonetheless, that didn’t cease Celtics followers from chanting “We wish Brooklyn” after the crew’s play-in match victory over the Wizards, which is fairly laughable when you think about how a lot Boston regressed this season after they completed third within the East with 48 wins final 12 months.
In yet one more poor optic for the Celtics, their fan base isn’t in lockstep with Brad Stevens. The eighth-year head coach has shockingly been gloating in regards to the Nets main as much as the collection, seemingly laying the groundwork for Boston’s inevitable defeat.
In a brutally-honest evaluation of his crew’s possibilities in opposition to the Nets (that absolutely gained’t precipitate controversy within the locker room), Stevens primarily admitted Brooklyn needs to be the overwhelming favorites to win the championship this 12 months.
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens conceding the crew’s first-round playoff matchup in opposition to the Nets was unhappy.
In predictable vogue, Stevens obtained a tongue-lashing from Celtics followers and native media for these feedback. Clearly intent on dying on this weird hill (on which he clearly stands alone), this criticism didn’t cease the 44-year-old head coach from doubling down on simply how huge of a mountain Boston has to climb in opposition to the Nets.
“There will likely be some tip-your-cap moments: Good shot and go on the opposite finish and rating,” Stevens advised reporters. “You aren’t going to carry these guys to 90 (factors). These guys are a high-octane offense. It’s a must to guard them as onerous as you may and go rating on the opposite finish.”
We usually wouldn’t have a difficulty with an upcoming opponent waxing poetic in regards to the Nets’ historic offense, however Stevens is aware of we’re speaking in regards to the playoffs, proper? Couldn’t he have at the least gone the hopeless optimistic route and pretended just like the Celtics stand an opportunity?
We’re all for being sincere, however laying down earlier than a first-round matchup in opposition to a convention rival is the epitome of pathetic.
Perhaps present a little bit little bit of delight? The chances are clearly stacked in opposition to Boston, however he’s appearing like Jayson Tatum didn’t simply single-handedly will the crew to a victory over the Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook-led Wizards within the play-in match.
Tatum may trigger all types of issues for the Nets’ protection. And Kemba Walker, although he’s largely been a disappointment this season, has been taking part in higher of late. We’re not saying these two gamers alone will likely be sufficient for the Celtics to make a collection out of it, however Stevens placing zero religion in his two remaining stars (and full roster, for that matter) is embarrassing.
Maybe this isn’t the message Stevens has been relaying to his gamers. Nonetheless, it appears like he’s hyping up the Nets as an excuse for when Boston ultimately loses.
Whereas his job isn’t technically on the road, crediting Brooklyn’s superior expertise is certainly one solution to persuade the Celtics’ entrance workplace that dropping to the prohibitive championship favourite can purchase him at the least one other 12 months on the sidelines.