1. Kevin Durant vs Jayson Tatum
This is what will ultimately decide this game, set and match. Two of the game’s best scorers will be going head to head to prove who will end up in the second round. While he has missed time due to injury, Durant has looked like the same lethal scorer he did in his Golden State days, and the Nets offense has ranked among the best in the game.
Tatum is not going to score 50 points in every game, but the Nets might as well start every game down 25 considering that Tatum is going to fill up the scoreboard. Tatum is starting to come into his own as a star and primary scoring option without Jaylen Brown, and he won’t be scared of KD’s star power.
Kevin Durant and Jayson Tatum will match each other blow for blow.
Tatum has helped the Celtics get to the Conference Finals with regularity, and while his odds at replicating that look long this year, his scoring touch is refined enough to the point where he could easily end up giving the Nets some real headaches in this series.
The only way for Durant to neutralize Tatum is to match him shot for shot. Luckily, considering that Durant hasn’t lost one ounce of his shooting stroke, ability to hit contested shots, or skill with creating separation off of the dribble, he should be up to the task, especially if the game is tied late.