The Brooklyn Nets head into Game 2 of their first round matchup with the Boston Celtics up 1-0 after a big win in the series opener on Saturday. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)
- The Celtics take on the Nets in Game 2 on Tuesday, May 25th
- Brooklyn won the series opener by 11 points; Kevin Durant had a game-high 32
- Get the odds, preview, and pick below
Despite heading into halftime down by six points to the C’s in Game 1, the Brooklyn Nets ultimately pulled away in the third quarter to secure a convincing 104-93 win. After two days off, the Celtics and Nets will get back at it on Tuesday, May 25th. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 pm EST.
The Big 3 started off slow on Saturday, but they all ended up in double digits after finding their scoring touch in the second half. Brooklyn also did a solid job containing Jayson Tatum, who had just 22 points in the loss.
Celtics vs Nets Game 2 Odds
|Team||Spread||Moneyline at Fanduel||Total Points|
|Boston Celtics||+9.5 (-110)||+370||Ov 227 (-110)|
|Brooklyn Nets||-9.5 (-110)||-480||Un 227 (-110)|
Odds as of May 25th
Supporting Cast Needs to Complement Tatum
Boston was going toe to toe with the Nets until the half, but that was more because their opponents were struggling to hit shots. However, the supporting cast will need to be a whole lot better in Game 2. Tatum didn’t have a banner night, shooting just 6 for 20 from the field. It was a far cry from his 50-point performance in last week’s play-in game, but his teammates didn’t help much.
Kemba Walker had only 15 points, which is simply not good enough. With Jaylen Brown out, he’s technically the Celtics’ second-best player right now. One positive though was Marcus Smart, who dropped 17 and dished out five assists. It was a solid performance from a player who’s been criticized in recent months due to his lack of shot-making and questionable decisions with the ball.
Robert Williams was also a pleasant surprise, especially on defense. The fourth-year man out of Texas A&M went to work inside, collecting nine blocks in the series opener.
Robert Williams was a BEAST on defense tonight for Boston. 💪 ❌ pic.twitter.com/SKRK6o5IwV
— theScore (@theScore) May 23, 2021
Overall, the C’s must be a lot better offensively. They scored 32 points alone in the second quarter but combined for a dismal 61 in the other three. On the night, Brad Stevens’ squad shot an atrocious 37% from the field. There needs to be a lot more consistency on that end against a Brooklyn defense that is by no means elite. It all starts with Tatum, who will be looking for a bounce-back night on Wednesday at the Barclays Center.
DraftKings Promo for NBA Playoffs Gives Bettors Crazy 40-1 Odds on Any Team to Win
Big 3 Finding a Rhythm
There was no question it would take some time to get in a groove alongside each other again, but Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden did just that in the last two quarters in Game 1. Brooklyn’s superstar trio combined for 82 of the Nets’ 104 points in the victory, led by KD’s 32.
They actually went 0-for-11 from downtown in the first half but came out firing in the last 24 minutes. Steve Nash’s team went on an 18-4 run in the third period, with the Big 3 scoring 28 of Brooklyn’s 31 points in the quarter.
However, the Nets shot just 24% from long range, which is certainly a disappointment considering they’re the second-best three-point shooting team in the Association. While the rest of the rotation didn’t score a whole lot, Brooklyn was the more dominant figure on the boards, out-rebounding the Celtics 50-40.
With 32 points and 12 boards in his return to playoff hoops, @KDTrey5 reminded everyone what he can do on this stage.
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) May 23, 2021
KD, Harden, and Irving did a good job of staying in touch offensively in the first half by getting to the line. In total, the Nets shot 90% on 29 attempts, with 26 of them coming from their superstars.
Harden alone has led the league in drawn fouls on several occasions and he’s absolutely lethal from the charity stripe. It’s scary to think how dangerous this team will really be once they get into a legitimate rhythm together. Boston certainly has their work cut out for them.
Encore Incoming from Big 3
After Saturday’s win, the Nets have now won eight consecutive playoff games against the C’s, which is impressive in itself. While the Moneyline is a steep bet here, I think there’s more value in the spread.
Boston hasn’t been consistent for most of the season. Tatum will likely show out in Game 2, but the Big 3 is going to thrive from start to finish this time around which is going to be a handful for the Celtics defense. They have a game under their belt and will feel a lot more comfortable alongside one another.
With the home crowd behind them as well, take the star-studded Nets to cover the spread.
Pick: Brooklyn Nets -9.5 (-110)
This article contains links to external sports betting services. SBD may receive advertising revenue from these links, however editorial has hand-picked each individual link based on relevance to the article, without influence on the coverage.
Quinn Allen is a sports journalist, with a background and education in broadcast journalism (BCIT ’17). He writes about European Football, Basketball, and Baseball for numerous sites across the globe.