The Brooklyn Nets will head into Tuesday’s matchup against the Boston Celtics looking to take a 2-0 lead. The Nets won Game 1 of their series by a score of 104-93 as Brooklyn’s big three of James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant combined for 82 points.
Even though the Nets took Game 1 by double digits, and the box score from Brooklyn’s three stars looks good on paper much of what the stat sheet shows is an optical illusion. After a nearly week-long layoff before their first playoff game, the Nets struggled coming out of the gates and trailed the Celtics going into the halftime break. If this team truly has championship aspirations like they say they do, they have to realize that talent alone will not win them a championship.
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Kyrie Wants the Nets To Keep Their Foot on the Gas
The Nets at least on paper have one of the most talented teams in NBA history. With that being said it is not unusual for them to go on long scoring runs and gain a big lead early in the game. The problem with that is the Nets will often loosen the reigns when they are up big and do things like turn the ball over or fall in love with isolation basketball which allows their opponents back in the game. Kyrie is aware of it and knows that it is a problem that needs to be addressed.
“We’ve had the tendency to take our foot off the gas pedal or stop attacking the rim or settling for jump shots or just not swinging the basketball and making easy plays for one another,” Irving said after the win via NetsDaily. “Obviously, we know we have all-world one-on-one players, but we make it a little easy when teams can just load up and our one-on-one game isn’t working.”
The Celtics Aren’t Intimidated by the Nets
Despite coming into the playoffs as the seventh overall seed in the Eastern Conference, in Game 1 the Celtics proved themselves to be a very worthy opponent. The Nets would go on scoring spurts and the Celtics being the young and scrappy team that they are, would counter with a run of their own. Even with the star power that the Nets have with their ‘big 3’ Celtics big man Tristan Thompson insists that the team is not intimidated by Brooklyn. It is a mindset that is a mandate if you want to have any shot at beating the Nets.
“I mean, listen, if you have a team with Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving, you better step on the court feeling good about yourself,” Thompson told the media on Monday per NetsDaily. “But we don’t give a s*** about that. At the end of the day, they put their socks on and their shoes on just like us. So, we’re not intimidated or anything like that.”
A model of consistency is a requirement for a team that is looking to compete for a championship. While the Nets will take the win, it is clear that they have some things that need to be cleaned up before they take the court for Game 2 of the series on Tuesday.