The Brooklyn Nets were firing on all cylinders on Tuesday night, as they blew out the Boston Celtics to take a 2-0 lead in their first-round series.
Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden all shot 50 percent or better from the field, and combined for 61 points in the win. In my bold predictions for the NBA playoffs, I said that the Nets would go undefeated in the Eastern Conference, and they’re off to a good start on that prediction.
Brooklyn is the NBA Finals favorite on WynnBET, and the Nets are massive favorites to beat the Celtics in the first round at -20000. In addition, a sweep by the Nets in this series comes in at +120, which are the lowest odds of any outcome in the series.
I’ll be honest, my pick for the Nets to go undefeated in the East partially hinged on the Miami Heat beating the Milwaukee Bucks, but the Heat have fallen down 0-2 in the series and have looked completely overmatched.
Regardless, I think it is fair to wonder if anyone can beat the Nets when they are at full strength. The Bucks beat Brooklyn twice this season, but both wins came with James Harden sidelined by a hamstring injury.
The main concern for Brooklyn coming into the postseason was the chemistry between the three superstars on their roster, but Durant, Irving, and Harden have all seemed to mesh well through the first two games.
Each of them took 12 shots in Tuesday’s win, and they did a great job sharing the ball. Harden (seven assists), Durant (five assists) and Irving (six assists) helped Joe Harris get going for a 25-point performance. If Harris and the Nets' role players get going, Brooklyn is going to be even harder to guard with three of the best iso players in the game waiting to pick apart a defense at any moment.
The only thing that stands in the way of the Nets going undefeated this postseason is their defense, as they don’t possess the size to match up with the Bucks or Philadelphia 76ers in a series.
However, Brooklyn could try to play fast and force the Bucks and Sixers to re-think using multiple big men on the floor at once. It is certainly bold to think the Nets could go 12-0 in the East, but the first two games of the first round have been a nice indicator of how good this team can be with all its stars on the floor.