Celtics Sweep Nets
The Boston Celtics got revenge on the Brooklyn Nets by sweeping them 4-0 in the first round of the 2022 NBA playoffs. The series ended Monday night with Boston winning 116-112 in a close game on the road at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Nets Forward Kevin Durant had a game-high of 39 points, but it wasn’t enough to stop the tank that is the Celtic defense.
The Celtics lost to the Nets in the first round of the 2021 playoffs within five games, but this time the C’s were out for blood by playing great defense, with Guard Marcus Smart winning this year’s DPOY (Defensive Player of the Year). Smart is the first guard to win the award since Gary Payton in 1996 with the Seattle SuperSonics (now Oklahoma City Thunder).
Monday night’s game four saw Boston Small Forward Jayson Tatum scoring 29 points with five assists and hitting four three-pointers, but he did foul out of the game with only a few minutes left. Tatum proved himself as a two-way superstar in just this first round as he averaged 29.5 points per game while shooting an impressive 45 percent from the field and playing elite-level defense throughout the four-game series. He also scored an unforgettable buzzer-beating layup in game one, to secure the win to go along with 31 points on Easter Sunday.
The series started with a lot of drama involving Ben Simmons and whether or not he was going to play, center Robert Williams III coming back from injury and Kyrie Irving flipping off and mocking Boston fans in game one. Several rumors floated around that Simmons was to be ready to play come game three or four, but he never saw the court due to his ongoing back issues. Williams III managed to come back from his meniscus injury faster than expected as he came back in games three and four on the road but was on a minutes restriction.
The Celtics move forward to the second round, and will face off against either the Chicago Bulls or Milwaukee Bucks. The more likely, and arguably scary opponent is the Bucks, as they lead 3-1 at the time of writing, but in the words of Jaylen Brown, “We’re not running from anybody.”