The Brooklyn Nets showed that they could be one of the NBA’s top title contenders this season, annihilating the Boston Celtics 123-95 on Christmas Day. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were virtually unstoppable as they picked apart the Celtics’ defense as though they were amateurs.
This was supposed to be a game that pitted two teams ready to contend for the Larry O’Brien Trophy but it appeared as though it was only the Nets who were championship material.
Brooklyn Nets coach Steve Nash demonstrated that he could be one of the top choices for Coach of the Year. Though it’s still way too early to tell, Nash seems to know instinctively which buttons to push in order to get the best from his team, especially his stars.
The Celtics led by three at halftime but it was all Nets in the second half.
Here are the hits and flops from the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics matchup on Friday in the NBA:
Hit: Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets)
Kevin Durant could do no wrong. The Brooklyn Nets forward was unstoppable in this game, showcasing his entire repertoire and reminding everyone that he was one of the top two players in the league before his Achilles injury.
Durant was cooking from the field in the third quarter and constantly kept the pressure on the Boston Celtics, giving the Nets a nine-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. He had 29 for the game on an efficient 9-of-16 field goal shooting.
Flop: Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)
When it’s a Christmas Day game, you expect the stars to shine the brightest but Jayson Tatum’s star wouldn't burn bright for the Celtics. After coming off a game where he hit the deciding shot against the Milwaukee Bucks, Tatum seemed quite tentative and out of rhythm at times.
He made 9-of-22 from the field for only 20 points as he failed to get to the line. That shows a lack of aggressiveness right there.
Hit: Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn Nets)
If Kevin Durant could do no wrong, then Kyrie Irving was flawless in this game. He only had one turnover the entire game while dishing the rock to his teammates for eight assists.
His game was on-point and he took advantage of every defender thrown at him by his former team. Irving shot 13-of-21 from the field including 7-of-10 from beyond the arc, finishing with 37 points for the night.
Flop: Brad Stevens (Boston Celtics)
Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens tried to use Tristan Thompson in guarding Kevin Durant inside but the Brooklyn Nets forward was just unstoppable. There was nothing that Stevens did or could do to stop the Nets’ terrible twosome of Durant and Irving.
But it didn’t seem like Stevens also did anything special to try and stop them other than send his best defenders. Stevens was simply outcoached by a rookie coach in this game.
Hit: Jarrett Allen (Brooklyn Nets)
Jarrett Allen was an excellent complement to the Brooklyn Nets stars. He grabbed 11 rebounds and had nine points. He powered his way to those boards and played within his limits, taking only three shots and making two of them.
Allen’s defense (four blocks) kept the Boston Celtics second-guessing their shots in the paint. His energy gave the Nets the spark they needed to take this game over.Published 26 Dec 2020, 07:22 IST