The Boston Celtics certainly would've loved a different prize after beating the Washington Wizards for the 7th seed.
Now, they'll have to go to war with the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the playoffs, a team that just got James Harden back to play alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
The Celtics will have to be near-perfect if they want to stand a chance and make this a series, especially without Jaylen Brown. Coach Brad Stevens is well aware of that, as he recently showered his rivals in praise, claiming that his team will have to play as a unit if they want to beat them.
“We’ll do our best to get ready for Brooklyn,” Stevens told Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports. “They’re the best of the best. As a fan of the NBA, it’s hard to see those guys losing. We’re going to have to play great and play great together.”
That didn't seem to sit well with former Celtics player Kendrick Perkins, who went on ESPN's First Take to obliterate Stevens for his comments. According to Perk, he showed no 'Celtic Pride' by lauding his rivals:
“Brad Stevens, if you love Brooklyn that much, why don’t you go coach them? Go join the coaching staff,” Perkins said. “Listen, I played for the Boston Celtics for eight-and-a-half years. I know the definition of ‘the City of Champions.’ They have something called Celtic pride. That wasn’t Celtic pride.
Perkins went on to say that he wouldn't want to play for a coach that praises the rival, blowing things out of proportion as he usually does:
“And no, I wouldn’t want to play with Brad Stevens. How can I go to war with a coach that is praising and glorifying an opponent that I possibly could upset? How about saying ‘Hey, we’re going to be prepared, we’re going to be ready. I know you’re crowning them, but I got enough, and we’re going to come to compete.’ How about saying that, Brad Stevens," he concluded.
Big Perk isn't the one who's often objective when it comes to the Celtics and he's been critical of Stevens in the past, so perhaps this is a little personal.
You don't have to be a basketball connoisseur to tell that the Nets are the better team entering this series, especially when the Celtics are undermanned. Hopefully, the C's will show the Celtics Pride Stevens is allegedly lacking and make this a series.