After the first round of the play-in tournament, the Brooklyn Nets finally have their first-round matchup set.
They will face the division rival Boston Celtics with Jayson Tatum fresh off of a 50-point performance against the Washington Wizards, as the C’s bucked up to get back to the postseason after a tough campaign.
The Brooklyn Nets had success against the Celtics this year, as they won all three matchups. It has been a disappointing season for the Celtics, as they were expected to be a top-four seed in the East by most pundits this year.
The Nets are slated to start their first round series on Saturday in Brooklyn. It is widely expected that the Nets will take care of a Celtics team without Jaylen Brown.
I won’t say that the Celtics will shock the Nets, but here are three bold predictions for the first round series between the division rivals.
3. Celtics Will Win the First Game of the Series
The Nets are favored in the series, and the same goes for Game 1 on Saturday. The Nets are eight-point favorites for the opening game of the series. However, I would not be surprised if they lost Game 1.
When the series kicks off this weekend, it will be six days since the Nets last played a basketball game. I expect the Nets to come out with some rust and not necessarily be clicking on all cylinders to start off the game.
Even without Brown, the Celtics have more than enough firepower to steal a game in the series. The Celtics are led by Tatum, Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart, which should be more than enough talent to steal Game 1 of the series if BK is caught off guard.