Forgive us for getting ahead of ourselves prior to Friday’s highly anticipated Celtics-Nets game.
NBA.com’s Michael C. Wright offered a compelling argument for why a Boston-Brooklyn first-round NBA playoff series would entertain the sports world. The teams will play their final regular-season meeting Friday, but their respective positions in the Eastern Conference standings — Brooklyn tied for first, and Boston in sixth, albeit with only a one-game lead over the seventh-place Miami Heat — create the possibility for a Celtics-Nets first round matchup. Wright’s rationale centers around Nets point guard and Celtics hero-turned-villain Kyrie Irving and the health of the teams’ respective rosters.
“Given Brooklyn’s injury woes as of late, there’s definitely a chance its full roster won’t be available for the start of the postseason, which would provide Boston the perfect opportunity to pull off the upset,” Wright wrote. “But you also know Kyrie Irving will be motivated to beat his former team. The Nets defeated the Celtics twice earlier this season, and Irving was the only player of Brooklyn’s “Big Three” to participate in both contests, dropping 30 points on Christmas and 40 in a March 11 win. These teams haven’t met in the playoffs since the 2003 Eastern Conference semifinals, when the Nets swept the Celtics 4-0.”
The Celtics still have 13 games remaining on their regular-season schedule, and plenty undoubtedly will happen that will impact Boston’s place in the standings and the possibility of a first-round playoff meeting with Brooklyn.
Although the Celtics might have a better chance of beating the Nets in the first round, a matchup at any stage of the postseason likely would be the most attention-grabbing series in either team’s recent history.