With Brooklyn coming off a convincing win against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Play-In tournament, the Nets established themselves as the seventh-seed for the playoffs.
While this would be a sigh of relief for fans, the upcoming matchup against Boston is anything but relieving.
Following the Brooklyn Nets' win, Kevin Durant was asked about his opinion on how the Nets would attempt to contain the Celtics with special emphasis on their young superstar Jayson Tatum.
Opening upon on the threat Tatum presents to opposition defenses, Durant said:
"S**t. That’s a tough question. He’s one of those players you gotta play hard and see what happens. He’s just so talented and skilled and efficient in what he does. You just got to play hard. I expect us to."
Celebrations in Brooklyn will be short-lived as the Nets prepare to face the Celtics at TD Garden on April 17th.
Having lost the season-series to Boston, Brooklyn will have their work cut out for them. However, with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in top form, the Nets look like a competitive side coming up against the NBA's top-ranked defensive unit.
Do Kevin Durant and the Nets have an answer for Jayson Tatum?
With one of the most exciting matchups on the books for the first-round of playoff action, the Brooklyn Nets will need to develop a proper solution to contain Jayson Tatum.
While the Nets are one of the best offensive teams in the league, their defense has also been surprisingly noteworthy. Ranked eighth in defensive rating over the course of their last 10 games, the Nets only allowed 112.2 points per game.
However, this will be put to the test against Boston. While Boston have notched an offensive rating of 113.6 for the season, the last 10 games have seen a major uptick as they average 125.1 points per game.
Much of this can be credited to the scoring brilliance of Jayson Tatum paired with his star running mate Jaylen Brown. Having averaged 27.4 points per game in his last 10 games, Tatum has established himself as a bonafide scorer.
In the final meeting of the regular-season between the Nets and the Celtics, Jayson Tatum notched 54-points to see Boston through to a win. Although Kevin Durant himself had 37 on the night, his efforts weren't enough.
Tatum has averaged 29.5 points per game against Brooklyn this season. While factoring in a playoff situation and the rhythm that settles when Boston plays at home, Kevin Durant and the Nets may struggle to contain the Celtics superstar.
A possible stop-gap solution would be to have Bruce Brown man-mark Tatum for his time on the floor.
While Brown does give up some size, his pesky defensive style could alter Tatum's rhythm. This could stun Boston's offense and give Brooklyn an opening to explot.