Brooklyn Nets: Analyzing the team’s 8 games leading up to the Playoffs

Spencer Dinwiddie Brooklyn Nets(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Spencer Dinwiddie Brooklyn Nets(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Game Four – Nets vs Celtics

The Boston Celtics punched their tickets to the playoffs just before the NBA hit pause on the season, but despite their stature as an undoubtedly top tier team this year, the Nets experienced some success when facing off against their northern rival, even achieving a 2-1 record against them.

This leaves the Celtics as a difficult team to project against the Nets, as their head to head record contradicts what the Eastern Conference standings might tell you.

Dinwiddie and LeVert both outplayed Boston’s backcourt duo which includes Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown during all contests other than their inaugural one, which dates back over six months, and in fact, did not include LeVert at all due to an injury. But even Walker’s 39 point outburst during that game now feels overshadowed by LeVert’s 51 piece that eventually led to Brooklyn’s second consecutive win against Boston.

Although the evidence suggesting that Nets indeed carry a backcourt more superior than Boston’s, their opponent’s young forward Jayson Tatum enters the bout as a threat worth another look as well.

Tatum took a significant leap this year, elevating his numbers across every major statistical category. Averaging 23.6 points per game, his increased offense this year even places him as a top-five Eastern Conference scorer and top 15 league-wide.

But things become increasingly strange once comparing Taytum’s outputs with his team’s success against the Nets. Playing Brooklyn only twice, a higher scoring game for Taytum where he shot 52.6 percent from the field saw the Celtics surrender a loss, while a lower scoring affair from him where he shot an ugly 29.4 percent oddly enough resulted in a victory.

Although he likely still holds the shamrock crown as Boston’s best overall player, when stacked up against the Nets at least, sharing the team’s offensive duties appears like a more fruitful option.

Down low, expect Allen and Jordan to handle Daniel Theis and Enes Kanter with ease, which really just forces you to circle back to the guard position.

For Boston to even the series, other players besides Taytum must show up, perhaps looking for Marcus Smart to add more as a third backcourt weapon, or for Walker and Brown to take things up a notch. But for Brooklyn, continued domination from Dinwiddie and LeVert with everyone else simultaneously doing their job keeps them right where they need to be.