Celtics vs. Nets playoff preview: Kevin Durant vs. Boston's switches, Ben Simmons' repute among key storylines - CBS activities

It might be a rematch, technically, when the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets open their first-circular collection at TD backyard on Sunday, but this is nothing like remaining season. probably the most strategic stuff is a similar, I wager -- each teams want to change, both need to limit the different crew's convenient stuff -- but Boston now has the superior defense in the NBA (but is lacking an immense piece of it, for now), Brooklyn has a new huge three (but is missing the new guy, for now) and the Celtics' new instruct became on the Nets' personnel ultimate time. 

In-season roster changes suggest that only one of the commonplace-season matchups is valuable: A 126-one hundred twenty Boston win on March 6, during which Jayson Tatum exploded for 54 elements. it's price noting that Robert Williams III, who will leave out as a minimum the beginning of this series with a knee harm, performed 37 minutes that afternoon, and LaMarcus Aldridge, who was no longer within the Nets' rotation on the conclusion of the regular season and failed to appear of their play-in online game, played 23 minutes.  

with out Williams, is the Celtics' change-heavy defense more vulnerable against Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving's isolations? doubtless, but their defense continues to be extraordinary. without Ben Simmons, is Brooklyn with ease too small to deal with Boston's wings? possibly, however Simmons may come lower back. Would this be a great convention finals matchup if both teams had been complete? fully. however right here we are.

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Boston Celtics (2) vs. Brooklyn Nets (7)

Boston leads collection 1-0

All instances jap

  • game 1 (at BOS): Celtics one hundred fifteen, Nets 114
  • game 2 (at BOS): Wednesday, April 20 | 7 p.m. | television: TNT
  • online game three (at BKN): Saturday, April 23 | TBD | television: ESPN
  • game 4 (at BKN): Monday, April 25 | TBD | tv: TBD
  • online game 5* (at BOS): Wednesday, April 27 | TBD | tv: TBD
  • online game 6* (at BKN): Friday, April 29 | TBD | television: TBD
  • game 7* (at BOS): Sunday, may additionally 1 | TBD | tv: TBD
  • *If quintessential

    1. it's matchup-looking season 

    both of these groups like to change, however the Celtics do it more commonly and more quite simply. When Brooklyn goes matchup searching, it may no longer get the matchup it wants. Boston pre-switches to preserve its top-quality defenders on opposing stars, and it scrams its smaller defenders out of post-ups. The Celtics want to drive the Nets into "one-on-one" basketball, however's no longer in fact one-on-one -- aid defenders with long palms might be in the gaps, making an attempt to force Durant and Irving into contested jumpers. The hazard is that Durant and Irving have gained quite a lot of video games by making contested jumpers. 

    "it be a contrast of two issues that two groups do extraordinarily smartly," Boston coach Ime Udoka spoke of. 

    How Brooklyn handles the switching will assess how a great deal assist the Celtics come to a decision to send. Nets instruct Steve Nash said he desires the Nets to "have some discipline to proceed to play and not simply accept isolation situations," i.e. ignore the switches, hold running moves, slip out of monitors, are trying to make Boston make blunders. The Celtics typically don't make many error, however they're more expensive without Williams round to clear them up. 

    Bruce Brown made headlines when he mentioned that Brooklyn would go at Boston's bigs, however nobody cared when Udoka referred to the Celtics would prefer on the Nets' guards: "With their lineups that they are starting, they're playing much smaller from time to time with [Patty] Mills and [Seth] Curry, Irving, [Goran] Dragic and people guys available on occasion. there may be some positive positions for us with our size and flexibility. So, issues you can assault there."

    Brooklyn's beginning backcourt -- Irving and Curry -- is unusually small, and Nash has now and then played three of these guards together. The Celtics are comparatively enormous, and the Nets will have a more durable time warding off mismatches. In conception, though, the approach is the same: in case you can't stay away from a mismatch, then or not it's about reacting to it with assist protection and double-groups. When it involves slowing down Tatum, although, that stuff is lots less helpful than it used to be. 

    2. Brooklyn on the boards  

    Their backcourt is tiny, but the Nets aren't precisely a small team. The roster is crammed with big men, and in that online game in March, they rebounded a 3rd of their misses, which isn't an odd incidence. With starting center Andre Drummond on the flooring, Brooklyn had a 34.7 p.c offensive rebounding percentage. (The Memphis Grizzlies rebounded a league-premiere 33.8 percent of their misses this season.)

    Boston is a core-of-the-pack shielding rebounding team, but here's one of the most risks of switching every thing. If Al Horford or Daniel Theis is guarding Irving on the perimeter, it should be harder to hold Drummond and backup core Nicolas Claxton off the glass. along with open looks for the Nets' shooters and "Bruce Brown's power," Udoka outlined "2d-possibility elements by using Drummond and Claxton" as a local of concern. 

    not like Drummond, Claxton is not one of the most most useful offensive rebounders of all-time. He has more advantageous when it involves rebounding in site visitors, although, and he has delivered some of what he calls "grown-man electricity." 

    If Marcus wise and Derrick White can container Claxton out, then it'll be more tricky for him to reside on the ground. If he helps Brooklyn on the boards, notwithstanding, then he could steal some of Drummond's minutes -- and maybe even the starting spot. one day, Claxton might possibly be the Nets' edition of Williams. at this time, he offers more shielding versatility and vertical spacing than their other options at middle. 

    three. The race in opposition t time

    until Simmons is accessible, Brooklyn is much much less versatile than Boston. Rookie ahead Kessler Edwards, the No. 44 choose within the draft, is an X-component as a result of, without Joe Harris, the Nets would not have any one else who resembles a three-and-D wing. They needed to waive James Johnson in an effort to convert Edwards' two-approach contract to a standard one, and they should hope that Edwards' uninspiring eight minutes in the play-in online game had been not a sign of issues to come back. If Brooklyn decides it wants extra size to cope with Tatum and Jaylen Brown, he is the man. 

    The presence of Simmons would no longer fill the gap on the wing, but it would make it much less essential. He would immediately enrich their protection, transition video game and rebounding, and he'd provide Nash more lineup flexibility, if best for 10 to 15 minutes a game at the start. The issue is that the Nets should be would becould very well be in a desperate situation by the point Simmons is able to play. The Celtics could have Time Lord lower back by means of then, too.

    no one in Brooklyn is publicly placing pressure on Simmons with phrases. there's in reality only one method, notwithstanding, for his teammates to take the pressure off: show that they don't want Simmons to keep them. Taking one of the vital first two on the road can be an outstanding start.

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