In beating the Washington Wizards in the play-in tournament, the Boston Celtics earned the right to become the first team to face a fully healthy Brooklyn Nets playoff squad. In other words, the right to be first on the chopping block against the overwhelming star power of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden.
Boston doesn't have a chance assuming everyone on the opposing sideline stays off the injury report. Given the laundry list of injuries suffered to key players this year and the fact that they won't have Jaylen Brown all series due to a torn wrist ligament, nobody is really shedding a tear about that. The hope is that the Celtics keep it close, possibly by giving Jayson Tatum a green light the size of Massachusetts. But unless Brooklyn's Big 3 get into a fistfight on the court, Boston will be heading to Cabo after four or five games and the Nets will be preparing themselves for a better equipped opponent in the second round.
When asked, head coach Brad Stevens was frank with reporters and said that he doesn't see the Nets losing in the playoffs. Not exactly a hot take since they have two former MVPs and one of the NBA's best scorers all on the same team. You know who did not like that honesty? Kendrick Perkins, who went on First Take to blast Stevens today.
This is why we never get anything interesting from coaches in media appearances. If they speak their minds, they get criticized. So we get cookie cutter answers instead to pore over and find something, anything of meaning.
Maybe that's a little dramatic, but Perkins is certainly topping it with this act. Anyone with eyes can see Brooklyn is a tough out and even a fully healthy Celtics team would have a very difficult time coming out on top in four of seven games. With no Brown and a pair of hobbled important role players in Marcus Smart and Robert Williams, it'll be basically impossible. It's fine to admit that, and the second half of Stevens' quote promised his team would fight as hard as they could anyway. It's unclear what more Perkins wants from the man.