The Brooklyn Nets struggled during the 2021-22 regular season because they had to overcome several roadblocks. Still even with all of the vaccine drama with Kyrie Irving, the James Harden trade, and Kevin Durant’s injury, Brooklyn was able to advance out of the play-in tournament and drew a first-round matchup with the Boston Celtics.
The Nets got swept out of the first round. But many felt that despite Brooklyn being a much lower seed, they still had a chance to beat the Celtics because they had the All-Star duo of KD and Kyrie. However, former Nets guard Mike James said on the Players Choice Podcast, Durant was sure the Nets would lose to Boston.
“So, when they [the Nets] was trash, and they was losing, I called him one day, I was like ‘You know what this means right? You going to come to my playoff game’”, James said.
“He was like ‘No way I’m coming to your playoff game, and then like a week later, he [Durant] called me before the playoffs started, he’s like ‘Yeah I’m going to be there.’
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Jaylen Brown Details Relationship With Kyrie Irving
Irving may have a rocky relationship with Boston fans, but it is the opposite with his former Celtics teammates. Celtics star Jaylen Brown says that although he and Irving did not always agree during his tenure in Boston, their relationship has strengthened since his departure.
“Off the court, me and Kyrie might have started off with a lot of bumps in the road. But as of lately, Kyrie is somebody that I’ve connected with. Somebody that I call a friend, a brother. Somebody that calls me to pick my brain at this point,” Brown told “NBC Sports Boston” on April 14 via “MassLive”.
“It wasn’t like that when we played together. We bumped heads a lot. But it’s funny now in hindsight. Kyrie, he talks to me, hits me up all the time and our relationship has grown a lot since then.”
Writing Was on the Wall in Nets, Celtics Series
Although the Nets getting swept by the Celtics was disappointing, when you examine the context of the series, the outcome was inevitable. The Nets had to blow up their roster unexpectedly when they traded Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers in February. Harden was supposed to be on the Nets for the extended future, so losing him midseason was a tough adjustment.
The Ben Simmons situation was also peculiar because his return date kept getting pushed back, which made the Nets’ game plan harder to approach. After all, they never seemed sure of whether or not he would play in the regular season or the playoffs.
Seth Curry was also a great pickup by the Nets, but he was not consistently available. The sharpshooter dealt with a lingering ankle injury all season, which required him to have surgery in May.
With all the outside factors the Nets endured, they never stood a chance against the Celtics. And while the optics of getting swept are not great, Brooklyn has nothing to be ashamed of. After all, the Celtics were only two wins away from being NBA champions.