Simply hours earlier than the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics had been set to tip off in Sport 1 of their opening spherical playoff matchup, Brad Stevens was brutally trustworthy about his group’s possibilities of upsetting the Japanese Convention’s No. 2 seed.
Whereas everyone knew Boston didn’t stand an opportunity in opposition to Brooklyn, particularly with out star Jaylen Brown, who was misplaced for the season simply forward of the playoffs as a consequence of wrist surgical procedure, it might’ve been good to see Stevens specific an oz. of confidence in his gamers.
In Stevens’ protection (probably not), he’s been confirmed proper by means of the opening two video games, because the Nets’ Large 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving have had their method with one of many league’s worst defenses throughout the common season.
At instances, it doesn’t even seem to be the famous person trio is giving their full effort, which speaks volumes contemplating the Nets have gained the primary two video games by a mixed 33 factors. In any occasion, the lopsided collection has opened up loads of alternatives for Brooklyn’s position gamers.
With that thought contemporary in thoughts, why don’t we bathe some reward on behalf of those non-Large 3 performers who’ve confirmed up vs the Celtics up to now?
Listed here are the Nets’ three most spectacular non-Large 3 gamers vs the Celtics.
Nets ahead Jeff Inexperienced (Picture by Sarah Stier/Getty Photographs)
3. Jeff Inexperienced
We all know what you’re pondering: how might a participant who’s seventh on the Nets in scoring in opposition to Boston qualify for this record? Nicely, in the event you’ve watched Brooklyn this season, you recognize Jeff Inexperienced impacts video games in methods which are much more necessary than scoring.
Extra importantly, the Nets don’t want Inexperienced to attain. We’d even argue he’s the glue that retains their common protection collectively. The 34-year-old vet is tasked with the opposing group’s greatest participant every evening and he’s accomplished an immaculate job in opposition to Jayson Tatum.
For context, Tatum, who left Sport 2 after being poked within the eye by Durant, has been restricted to simply 15.5 factors on 28.1% capturing and 28.6% on threes. To place these numbers into perspective, Tatum averaged 26.4 factors on .459/.386/.868 capturing splits throughout the common season.
Nets’ Jeff Inexperienced has picked off proper the place he left off within the common season.
Nets followers ought to intently monitor Inexperienced’s standing for Sport 3, as he was compelled from Tuesday evening’s sport as a consequence of a bruised left foot. On condition that contest was determined fairly early, let’s hope Inexperienced not returning was extra precautionary than anything.
Backside line? Inexperienced has logged a +22 (!) in his 39 minutes over the primary two video games, and in each contests he was tasked with main the second unit off the bench, so it’s not like he was enjoying alongside Durant, Harden and Irving in most of his minutes.
Think about the mic dropped.