16 NBA Experts Make Shocking Predictions for Celtics vs. Nets Playoff Series

Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics drives by Nicolas Claxton of the Brooklyn Nets

Getty Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics drives by Nicolas Claxton of the Brooklyn Nets.

The upcoming matchup between the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets is set to be one of the most entertaining series of the first round this year. In terms of star power, drama, and competitiveness, this one reigns supreme. And after the Nets took down the Celtics in five games last year, Boston will undoubtedly be looking for revenge.

Jayson Tatum will lead the charge against Kevin Durant as the Celtics look to maintain the momentum they built up in the latter half of the season. But despite Boston’s wildly successful second half, not everybody is convinced that they can take down the star-studded Nets.

As is the nature of the national media, everyone loves to make predictions. With the NBA Playoffs right around the corner, ESPN put out an article where their NBA experts made predictions for the first round of the playoffs. Experts such as Kirk Goldsberry, Richard Jefferson, and Ramona Shelbourne all made their picks.

For the Celtics vs. Nets matchup, ESPN asked 16 analysts, reporters, and media members. And while Boston may be the second seed in the East, they did not end up getting much love.

NBA Experts Pick Nets Over Celtics

Of the 16 experts that gave their votes, nine of them picked Brooklyn to win in Round 1, while only seven selected Boston. The star power of Durant and Irving is impressive, but considering how great the Celtics have been, that seems a bit crazy. But just wait, things get even wilder.

Every single person that picked the Celtics said that it would take Boston seven games to win the series. But out of the nine experts that went with the Nets, seven of them said the series would last seven games, but two picked Brooklyn to win in six – Jerry Bembry and Ohm Youngmisuk.

Bembry is a senior NBA writer for Andscape, formerly known as The Undefeated, and, in his defense, is a Brooklyn native. Meanwhile, Youngmisuk is an ESPN reporter who covers Los Angeles sports. However, he worked on the ESPN New York Beat for years after spending nearly 12 years at the New York Daily News. 

So while both of those two could legitimately think that the Nets will beat the Celtics in six games, there could also be a twinge of bias involved in their selection. The same can be said for Jefferson, who also picked the Nets. This is most likely due to the fact that he played for the organization for seven years.

Celtics vs. Nets Matchups This Season

The Celtics beat the Nets in three out of their four meetings this season, although it’s important to note that both teams were only at full strength in one of the four games. 

In their first meeting of the year, Kyrie Irving did not play for the Nets and Robert Williams did not play for the Celtics. Brooklyn won that matchup. Brooklyn was missing both Durant and Irving in each of the next two meetings, both of which Boston won by a landslide. And finally, in their most recent game against one another, both sides had all their pieces in place.

That game was a barn burner. Tatum dropped 54 points and Durant put up 37, but it was the Celtics who ended the night on top, 126-120. That game should be viewed as a preview of things to come. This series is going to be a long, grueling one. Evidently, the majority of experts like Brooklyn’s chances. It will be up to the Celtics to prove them wrong.

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