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Boston Celtics vs Brooklyn Nets prediction and combined starting 5 - April 23rd, 2021 | NBA Season 2020-21

Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets
Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets
ANALYST
Modified 23 Apr 2021
Preview

The Boston Celtics have improved a lot in the last few weeks and will have a difficult task when they visit the Brooklyn Nets' Barclays Center on Friday.

While the Brooklyn Nets will not have some of their best players, the matchup could be huge for the NBA's Eastern Conference seeding, as both teams are fighting at the top late in the season.

This will be the third and final matchup between the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets in the 2020-21 NBA season. The Nets had won the previous two games.


Boston Celtics vs Brooklyn Nets prediction

Garrett Temple #17 of the Chicago Bulls defends Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics
Garrett Temple #17 of the Chicago Bulls defends Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics

On the second night of a back-to-back set, the Boston Celtics will head into the game with a toll on their legs. However, confidence will be high as they come off a solid win over the Western Conference's second seed, the Phoenix Suns.

The Celtics are 8-2 in their last 10 games. They have put themselves into the Eastern Conference's sixth seed with a 32-27 record and are in the fight for the fourth seed.

For the Brooklyn Nets, the absences of their 'Big Three' of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving have been a constant throughout the season, and that will be the case for this game versus the Boston Celtics.

Harden will surely be out as he reportedly suffered a setback in his rehabilitation (hamstring injury). There is no timetable for his return.

Durant, on the other hand, missed the last two games with a thigh contusion, and his status is questionable for the upcoming game against the Boston Celtics.

The Brooklyn Nets are currently tied with the Philadelphia 76ers at the top of the Eastern Conference, with a 39-20 record, but are 5-5 in their last 10 games.

The team has an extraordinary offense and could have Durant and Irving on the court for the matchup versus the Boston Celtics. However, their defense (26th in the NBA) is still a concern.


Boston Celtics vs Brooklyn Nets combined starting 5

Point Guard - Kyrie Irving | Shooting Guard - Jaylen Brown | Small Forward - Jayson Tatum | Power Forward - Joe Harris | Center - Kevin Durant.

Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets looks to pass as Kevin Durant #7 looks on
Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets looks to pass as Kevin Durant #7 looks on

Our small-ball lineup for this match starts with Kyrie Irving, an unconventional scoring guard who is a great option for the point guard position. Despite the games that he's decided to miss this year, Irving is a tremendous talent and is putting up stunning numbers this year.

Irving is averaging 27.4 points, 6.2 assists, and 4.8 rebounds per game with 51/39/91 shooting splits. Though he has seemingly missed lots of games, he has played in 43 of the Brooklyn Nets' 59 games this year.

Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are certainly the Boston Celtics' best players, but they might be in some trouble.

Brown missed the Boston Celtics' last game against the Phoenix Suns with a shoulder injury. Meanwhile, Tatum has struggled with his shot recently, as he has made six of his 34 field-goal attempts in the last two games.

Still, Brown is having a career year with 24.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game this year. Tatum, on the other hand, is posting 25.5 points, 7.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game for the Boston Celtics.

The 2020-21 NBA season has been great for the Brooklyn Nets, as they have a great record and are looking for a deep run in the NBA Playoffs. It has also been a dream for role players who can shoot with efficiency from three, and Joe Harris has taken advantage of the talent surrounding him.

Harris, who led the league in three-point field-goal percentage back in the 2018-19 season (47.4%), is currently shooting 48.2% from 3P while averaging 6.5 attempts per game. He is averaging 14.4 points per game this year and has made 52% of his field goals.

This small-ball lineup also has the Brooklyn Nets' Kevin Durant at the center spot. He has missed 35 of the Nets' 59 games this season with various injuries and is currently listed as questionable for the upcoming matchup against the Boston Celtics.

Still, Durant has been great in his 24 appearances for the Brooklyn Nets, putting up 27.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game, with 54/46/87 shooting splits.


Also read: 5 NBA Playoff contenders who have struggled defensively this season

Published 23 Apr 2021
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