Finally, the Celtics know their foe. The Brooklyn Nets defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 115-108 Tuesday night, locking them in as the No. 7 seed and the Celtics’ first-round opponent for the 2022 NBA Playoffs.
The Celtics went 3-1 in the season series against the Nets in the 2021-22 regular season. In their most recent contest, on March 6, the C’s won 126-120. Each of the other three games were decided by double digits.
Brooklyn took the first game of the season series by a 123-104 final. But once the calendar flipped to 2022, the Celtics changed for the better, and that’s reflected in their improved performance in the matchup. In two February games, they outscored the Nets a combined 255-197.
One major difference in this series is the continued absence of Celtics starting center Robert Williams III. In three games against the Nets in the regular season, Williams averaged 11.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 2.7 blocked shots, with a 103 defensive rating. The 24-year-old led the NBA in defensive rating on the season at 102.4.
Williams has been out since March 28 as he recovers from a torn meniscus, which he quickly underwent surgery to repair. The Celtics have expressed optimism that, should they advance to the second round, Williams would have a chance to return at that point.
Game 1 between the Celtics and Nets is slated to begin on Sunday, April 17. As first reported by Brian Robb of MassLive, the game is at 3:30 p.m. ET. It will air on ABC, and on the radio here on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. You can also email him at email@example.com.
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