In just 2 games, the Boston Celtics are showing the Brooklyn Nets why they were rated as the NBA's top defense this season.
In the series so far, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have been struggling, and head coach Steve Nash has yet to find a working solution.
After the game, the shaken and humbled Nets spoke to the media about what went down.
Durant finished with a team-high 27 points, but shot 4-for-17 with six turnovers. Only an 18-for-20 night from the free-throw line made Durant’s totals look good.
Irving, after a 39-point eruption in Game 1, was held to just 10 points, on 4-for-13 shooting.
“They’re being physical. They’re up and into [Durant], grabbing him, holding him, all that stuff you come to expect,” Nets coach Steve Nash said of the Celtics’ defense. “He’s been uncomfortable and hasn’t looked like he’s quite been able to get his rhythm.”
“They’re playing two or three guys on me sometimes when I’m off the ball, mucking up actions when I run off stuff,” Durant said. “I see [Al] Horford leaving his man and coming over to hit me sometimes. There’s two or three guys hitting me wherever I go. That’s just the nature of the beast in the playoffs.”
With the series at 2-0, and headed to New York City, the Nets still have time to mount a comeback and even things up before returning to Boston.
Ben Simmons, who has not played all season, is rumored to be returning soon and his arrival could change everything.
Regardless, the Nets are going to need Kevin Durant to be productive if they want any chance of moving on. The Celtics, with credit to their defense, have made it difficult for their competition to breathe.
Fighting for their playoff lives on Saturday, the Nets will no doubt come with a heightened sense of urgency.