This year’s Eastern Conference quarterfinal matchup between the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets will have a much different tone than last year’s.
In 2021, crowds were just returning to stadiums in time for the postseason. Unfortunately, the Cs were not returning their 1A superstar Jaylen Brown, who suffered a torn ligament in his wrist that ended his 2020-21 season last spring.
His absence forced the series to be fairly one-sided. Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden dominated in their only playoff series together, and the Celtics were dispatched rather easily in five games.
This year will be a different story. Both ‘Jays’ are healthy, Al Horford is back, Marcus Smart is now a full-time legitimate floor general, and the second unit has legitimate weapons that can contribute (no offense to Aaron Nesmith last spring).
With that said, Brian Robb of MassLive gave an idea for which second unit Celtic would get the most minutes in the postseason:
"I think White gets the most bench minutes. He’s going to be valuable against the Nets guard heavy lineups and will keep the ball moving for Boston offensively."
The Boston Celtics second unit is far superior to Brooklyn’s
A player of Derrick White’s caliber simply doesn’t exist in the Nets second unit. Even Ben Simmons, who could return to the Brooklyn bench by Game 4, won’t affect the game’s outcome (at least in a positive way) as much as White will.
A healthy Simmons is a different story. Once upon a time, the near-seven-foot floor general was one of the game’s brightest young stars. But we don’t know what version we’re getting in the ‘Big Apple’.
The version of Derrick White we may get right now, if his last nine games are any indication (48% 3-point shooting), is a far superior sixth man, and someone Boston Celtics fans should be thrilled to have wearing green this go-around against the Nets in the postseason.