The Brooklyn Nets managed to pick up their first playoff win with their new trio of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden in the mix, as they took down the rival Boston Celtics after a slow start on the offensive side of the ball.
The fact that the Celtics, playing without Jaylen Brown, were able to hang with the Nets shows that this series is going to be a complete dogfight, as the presence of Brad Stevens on the other side will allow Boston to adjust to whatever Brooklyn throws at them.
The Celtics showed that they can dominate the paint and prevent the Nets from getting the easy looks near the rim that helped make this offense so lethal in the regular season. Despite that, look for Boston to shake some things up as they get ready for the second game in what should be a very close series.
The Nets must be on the lookout for these three adjustments, as failing to prepare for them could lead to them giving up a game or two.
The Brooklyn Nets must watch out for these 3 changes.
3. More Aaron Nesmith Minutes
Nesmith, a lottery pick out of Vanderbilt, didn’t set the world on fire in his first playoff game, but the 6-7 wing might end up getting forced into action against Brooklyn. Evan Fournier was supposed to step up after the Brown injury, but the Game 1 loss proved that he hasn’t looked as deadly as he did in Orlando.
Fournier made just three of his 10 shots in 39 minutes. With Boston, he is making just 43% of his 2-point shots, which is the lowest mark of his career. Nesmith might have to take up some minutes at the small forward spot, as Fournier didn’t get the job done against a beatable Nets perimeter defense.
Aaron Nesmith could be a game-changer for the Celtics vs the Brooklyn Nets.
Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart are staying in the starting lineup, so one of the few changes to that group Stevens can make is giving Nesmith more minutes over a struggling Fournier and the less inspiring Jabari Parker.
Nesmith came into the postseason white-hot from beyond the arc, and he could catch fire again at a very opportune time for Boston if Stevens eases up just a bit and lets him get more minutes. With the size to cause some problems for a smaller Nets team, playing Nesmith more makes too much sense.