Boston Celtics: 3 keys to a win over the Brooklyn Nets in Game One

Do the Boston Celtics knock off the Brooklyn Nets in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference No. 2 vs. No. 7 matchup? Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports
Do the Boston Celtics knock off the Brooklyn Nets in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference No. 2 vs. No. 7 matchup? Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports /
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After an eventful regular season, the Boston Celtics are ready to start their 2022 playoff journey.

A season full of ups, downs, and new faces has netted the C’s the second-best record in the Eastern Conference.

Boston’s reward for finishing 51-31 and capturing the two seed: a first-round matchup with the Brooklyn Nets.

Brooklyn enters Sunday’s Easter matchup fresh off of a play-in tournament win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, 115-108. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant combined to score 59 points while missing just ten shots. The duo also combined for 23 assists.

Boston has had some time to rest and rejuvenate ahead of their first-round matchup. The shamrocks will have had a week off in between matchups when they take to the floor again on Sunday.

They capped off their impressive regular season with a 139-110 statement win over the Memphis Grizzlies.

The break in action has allowed for the Celtics to recover and hopefully allow guys like Al Horford to be a full go in the playoffs.

Big Al may have been the most underrated player in the league all season, as he was the glue that held Boston together at times.

The key to success for the shamrocks during their stellar season has been no secret. Finishing the campaign as the top defense in the NBA has helped catapult Marcus Smart to the top of the Defensive Player of the Year discussion.

While the Brooklyn Nets may be the toughest possible first-round matchup for Boston, the C’s are still the favorites.

Even if Ben Simmons does make his Brooklyn debut during this series, green teamers still should not panic.

The former Sixer has not played in a game in quite some time and will certainly have some rust.

Of course, one of the main stories in this matchup is Kyrie Irving.

The perennial All-Star will return to Boston to try and defeat his former teammates. There has been a plethora of media buzz and attention around Irving and his return to Beantown.

It is without a doubt that Celtics fans will give Kyrie a warm welcome, especially after stomping on Lucky during last year’s postseason bout. Whether it affects the point guard’s play is not something to bank on.

As the Celtics prepare to do battle with the star-studded Nets, we at HH take a look at 3 keys to a Game One win for the hometown Boston Celtics:

Boston Celtics key to victory No. 1) Capitalize when KD and Kyrie are off the floor

Win when KD and Kyrie are off the floor

It’s no secret that when Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant are on the court at the same time, the Nets are purely dominant. The duo also rarely takes time off during the game as evident by their stat lines in the play-in game.

The tandem each played 42 out of 48 minutes, rarely taking a breather.

With a possible seven-game series ahead, Steve Nash could manage the minutes differently, especially on the road in Game One.

Any minute that Irving or KD are off the floor, Boston must look to outscore Brooklyn. It’s probable that the Nets will have the same mentality when it comes to Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

Whether it’s the bench unit giving the Nets buckets or the starting five making a run, Boston must capitalize on the few minutes where the Nets stars take a seat.