While waiting for the return of Ben Simmons, which could take place during Game 4, Brooklyn and Boston first challenged each other in this Game 3, where the challenge was very clear for the New York franchise: to win, not to end up with a defeat of the “sweep”.
Problem: even at home, the Nets still collapsed in front of the Celtics after the break (109-103). It must be said that Jayson Tatum (39 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 6 steals!) and Jaylen Brown (23 points) held their rank in this meeting, especially in hot moments.
Quite the opposite of Kevin Durant (16 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists, but with 5 ball losses and only 11 shots attempted…) or Kyrie Irving (16 points, 9 assists and 3 steals, but 6/17 on shots and 0/7 to 3-pts…), which continue to have holes in this series.
On arrival, this therefore gives a final score of 3-0 (!) in favor of the players from Massachusetts, reinforced by the return of Robert Williams, who will thus have the possibility of folding this first round on Monday evening!
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
— Jayson Tatum continues to dominate Kevin Durant. Apart from LeBron James, or even Kawhi Leonard, rarely has a player dominated “KD” in this way. And yet. At only 24 years old, the already very experienced Tatum is passing a milestone before our eyes, dominating his duel with Durant head and shoulders. Attack or defense: the Celtics player walks on his vis-à-vis, in very great difficulty and simply unrecognizable. In the midst of a crisis of confidence and embarrassed by his defenders, the 2014 MVP lost balls galore, in addition to not getting his shots as usual. And Tatum has a lot to do with it…
— Boston in total control. In the five or off the bench, the Celtics are at the top of their game collectively. With an iron defense and an effective attack, sublimated by maximum confidence, they can afford to relax without paying cash behind it. You only have to look at their second half to realize it, they who, after a mixed first period, stepped on the accelerator to quietly distance the Nets, thanks to a super Jayson Tatum (27 points !). Then, sure of their strength, Ime Udoka’s men managed their endgame, on both sides of the field, to turn 3-0 in this series.
✅ Jaylen Brown. In support of Jayson Tatum, the other Celtics All-Star made his match. Just on each side of the floor, he forced nothing (9/16 on shots), found his shooting positions, caused fouls and defended well. But we will especially remember his big last quarter, which saw him register 9 points, when the Nets were threatening, in the wake of Blake Griffin. Except that Brown was watching the grain and, at 3-pts, in penetration or at mid-distance, he repelled the New York assaults. Before letting Tatum finish off Brooklyn in the final five minutes. A perfect lieutenant, then.
✅ Bruce Brown. The other Brown in this series also shone today. And, this, in a role of first option to which he is not accustomed and which he should especially not occupy. Because, while Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have been missing each other for two games, it’s the complete opposite of the Swiss army knife of Steve Nash, author of his record for points in the playoffs (26), when he already had it. beaten in the last game (23). Between shooting, aggressiveness and opportunism, the 25-year-old player has been a hit since the end of All-Star Weekend and there is no doubt that he should take advantage of his good performances to land a very nice contract this summer…
✅ Blake Griffin. Impossible not to underline the entry into play, as surprising as it is excellent, from inside the Nets. Called by Steve Nash at the end of the third quarter, when he had not played for three weeks, Blake Griffin had the merit of behaving like a great professional, with an immediate contribution. Combative, despite a painful shoulder and a cardio quickly undermined, the former All-Star did not hesitate to sacrifice himself for his team in defense. Better: it allowed Brooklyn to regain hope in the last act, with two award-winning baskets! Enough to re-enter the New York rotation during Game 4?
⛔ Kyrie Irving. Like Kevin Durant, whose case was mentioned earlier, the All-Star point guard has been unrecognizable for two games. Because, even if Andre Drummond or Goran Dragic did not ensure either this night, the expectations around them are not as high as around Irving. Caught in the pincers in the defense of the Celtics, “Uncle Drew” does not weigh as much as in Game 1 and, when he can shoot, he is clumsy. His confidence has disappeared and it is soon his title hopes that risk disappearing in turn, because the “sweep” is getting dangerously close. Can he bounce back to avoid it?
Game 4 on the night of Monday to Tuesday (1:00 a.m.), still in Brooklyn.
#beaten #Celtics #Nets #verge #sweep