The first round of the NBA playoffs are drawing to a close with many teams only having a few games left in their respective series. One series that ended last night was one not many expected to end so early, as the Boston Celtics swept the Brooklyn Nets 4-0 to send superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving home.
The Celtics beat the Nets 116-112 at the Barclays Center last night despite Durant’s impressive 39 point game. Durant may have left his best performance too late, as Brooklyn’s star forward was averaging an underwhelming 22 points per game by his high standards.
This was no small part down to Boston’s incredible defence, holding out Durant and Irving to 39% and 44% shooting from the field respectively.
CBS Sports’ Joe Musso is joined by Tim Doyle on CBS Sports HQ to discuss where game four between Boston and Brooklyn was won and lost, particularly highlighting Celtics forward Jayson Tatum’s brilliant displays during the series.
“Tatum was great on both sides of the basketball, made Durant struggle, was efficient in this game, him and Marcus Smart are top-tier defenders and not a lot of teams have that,” commented Doyle.
Doyle was not enthusiastic about the Nets’ chances heading into this first round series with the Celtics, despite being the favourite. Before the season began last October, over 70% of general managers across the league believed the Brooklyn Nets would win the NBA Championship come June.
“It’s almost so ‘Nets’ of them to lose a series like this. You lose 4-0 but arguably you could have won every single game with the exception of game three maybe.
“The playoffs is a different beast. Everybody was picking the Nets to come out of this series… not me, because I’ve played basketball before. Chemistry matters.”
The Boston Celtics will now wait to see who they will be facing in the Eastern Conference semifinals between either the Milwaukee Bucks and the Chicago Bulls.
The reigning champions Bucks currently lead the series 3-1 and have the opportunity to win the series if they beat the Bulls tonight. The Bucks are however missing one of their star players in Khris Middleton, which Doyle believes can prove critical in a potential series with Boston.
“I think that series is a pick ‘em (Boston Celtics). With Khris Middleton, I think the Bucks are -180, so we’ve really got to pay attention to his health and when he will be back.
“I was out with the Bucks owner, and he said we’re looking at two more weeks until he’s back.”