Are the Boston Celtics destined for early elimination from the NBA playoffs at the hands of the Brooklyn Nets?
ESPN’s Basketball Power Index on Saturday projected the Celtics’ chances of beating the Nets in the first round of the NBA playoffs at 22 percent. Boston’s projected upset potential ranks sixth out of eight first-round playoff matchups, according to BPI.
“A 50-point outburst from Jayson Tatum was enough to lift the Celtics out of the play-in tournament,” ESPN’s Kevin Pelton wrote. “Beating the Nets four times will be a far greater challenge. Brooklyn swept the season series despite having Durant and James Harden available for just one of those games each. Kyrie Irving was the only All-Star available for the Nets in a 109-104 home win on April 30.”
NBA observers near and far believe Irving and the second-seeded Nets will make quick work of the seventh-seeded Celtics. However, a debate over how much respect the Celtics deserve and how much they should give the Nets is ongoing as their matchup nears.
Boston and Brooklyn will begin their first-round series Saturday. Game 1 will tip off at 8 p.m. ET.