Brooklyn Nets vs Boston Celtics 4/17/22: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Predictions
Brooklyn Nets vs. Boston Celtics Matchup Preview (4/17/22)
Arguably the most anticipated matchup features the Brooklyn Nets and the Boston Celtics in the first round of the NBA playoffs. These two teams certainly don’t care for each other, and Kyrie Irving has a history with the Celtics that has left the two sides soured for the foreseeable future. Irving played in Boston for merely two seasons before heading to Brooklyn, despite Kyrie stating that he wanted to be there long-term. While this matchup may not have the allure that a Sixers vs. Nets series matchup would have, this should still be very heated and competitive.
The Nets are fresh off a crucial home win against the Cleveland Cavaliers after nearly blowing a massive double-digit lead late in the game. Kevin Durant helped seal the game for Brooklyn, and his experience, poise, and talent will be imperative for the rest of the playoffs, especially against such a disciplined team like the Boston Celtics. Boston has turned its franchise around in just months after a slow start to yet another NBA season. The C’s rank first in every essential defensive statistical category for the second half of the year; however, they will be without Robert Williams III for at least a little longer due to a knee injury. Williams has been the interior anchor for this team, so his absence should, unfortunately, negatively impact their defensive output. See the betting odds section below for further analysis of this game and my prediction for who will win it!
Brooklyn Nets vs. Boston Celtics Betting Odds
The writing is on the wall for Boston: it has to take care of business in these first few games if it wants to move to the Eastern Conference Semi-Final round. With Ben Simmons’ return looming, the Celtics won’t feel good about their chances unless they have a significant lead on Brooklyn, likely in the form of a 3-0 start. The Celtics would still have a chance to win the series if they start 2-1, but that means they need to win both games at home. Boston is a team filled with guys who have experience, and I think it recognizes the reality of its situation and will leave it all on the floor these first few games. I will take Boston against the spread in Game 1 and not look back.
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How To Watch
Time: 3:30 PM ET
Arena: TD Garden – Boston, MA
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Brooklyn Nets Starting Lineup
Brooklyn Nets Analysis
Everybody, hold on! Ben Simmons is reportedly eyeing a potential Game 4 return in this first-round series against the Boston Celtics, much to their dismay. Simmons has not played a game all season long after holding out from Philadelphia and then sustaining a minor back injury that Brooklyn has been nursing. His presence would add another playmaking guard who can defend multiple positions on the other end of the floor, making the Nets’ defense significantly better in a series where it will have to be functional to hold off Boston’s offense. Between Simmons, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving, this could easily go to six or seven games, and we could potentially see an upset in the first round of one of the hottest teams in the NBA. It will take more than just Simmons returning, though, as Durant will have to play some of his best basketball ever on both ends to slow down Jayson Tatum.
Boston Celtics Starting Lineup
Boston Celtics Analysis
It’s hard not to feel at least a little bit bad for the Boston Celtics. The C’s get rewarded with playing the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the NBA playoffs after a dominant second half of the 2021-22 season. As detailed above, Boston ranks first in pretty much every defensive category imaginable and has at times looked unbeatable; however, the potential return of Ben Simmons later in this series certainly appears to be a daunting task. Additionally, Boston likely won’t have Robert Williams for the entirety of the series due to a torn meniscus. Regardless, the Celtics should see the writing on the wall and understand the sense of urgency they should be playing with for these first few games. They need to grab both home wins and maybe even the first road game to put Brooklyn out of the series comfortably. If they go into Game 4 with a 2-1 record or a 1-2, and Simmons returns, I don’t think I like their chances to move on in the playoffs.