Boston made this series look easy.
The Celtics rolled through the Brooklyn Nets in their first-round, best of seven series 4 games to 0 – sweeping their old teammate Kyrie Irving and superstar Kevin Durant in the process.
Over the last week, Jayson Tatum became a superstar of his own. The 6’8″ 24-year-old showed how dominant of a two-way player he can be in this league, holding Durant to 16.7% FG and forcing him into 12 turnovers when he was his primary defender, while also averaging 29.5 PPG over the series (and 34 PPG over the final two games in Brooklyn).
Boston’s role players were outstanding in this series as well – specifically Grant Williams. Grant averaged 11.3 points per game and shot 50% from three. I mentioned Boston’s role players as being one of my Four Reason Why the Celtics Will Win the NBA Finals a few weeks ago:
2. Pivotal Role Players
Brown and Tatum are the Celtics quote-unquote “guys” here, but players like Al Horford, Daniel Theis, and Derrick White are incredibly important to this team’s success. Take a look at these numbers from NBC Sports Boston that show just how important Boston’s role players have been to their second half run:
You’re never going to win a title with just two people. The depth of Boston’s bench and the offseason addition of Al Horford will be huge in getting them to the finish line.
That’s a wrap for & from Brooklyn. Thanks for choosing us for your Celtics R1 coverage. We’re back to Boston for C’s vs. Chicago/Milwaukee. @RealBobManning @ASherrodblakely @Joe_Sway pic.twitter.com/2XjmT19Job
— Celtics on CLNS (@CelticsCLNS) April 26, 2022
Boston’s shellacking of the Nets was so impressive, that they’re now the favorite to win the Eastern Conference according to BetOnline.ag. Here are their odds:
Odds to Win Eastern Conference
Boston Celtics +140
Miami Heat +240
Milwaukee Bucks +325
Philadelphia 76ers +550
Toronto Raptors +8000
Atlanta Hawks +25000
Chicago Bulls +25000
They are also second, behind only the Golden State Warriors, to win the whole thing according to BetOnline. Here are their top ten:
Odds to Win NBA Finals
Golden State Warriors +260
Boston Celtics +300
Phoenix Suns +525
Miami Heat +700
Milwaukee Bucks +750
Dallas Mavericks +1400
Memphis Grizzlies +1400
Philadelphia 76ers +1400
Utah Jazz +6600
New Orleans Pelicans +10000
Boston’s road will get tougher next round when they’ll almost certainly face the Bucks.
Milwaukee is the reigning NBA champion and harnesses arguably the best player in the NBA in Giannis Antetekounmpo. Boston will need their league leading defense to be “A+” if they want to continue their playoff run.
They have all the moxie in the world right now and are playing the best basketball out of anyone in the league. With Khris Middleton out with an injury, I’m confident Boston will scheme up the Greek Freak and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.
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