A battle at the top of the Eastern Conference heads in our direction during prime time on Thursday night when the Brooklyn Nets host the Boston Celtics.
This, unfortunately, comes off the heel of losing Kevin Durant to an MCL sprain. Durant, who was one of the leading MVP candidates of this season, will be sidelined for more than a couple of weeks.
The rest of Brooklyn’s roster has improved since last year, but this is going to be a chance for them to prove whether or not they have what it takes. It mirrors the Golden State situation with them losing Steph Curry for a few weeks.
It is the Celtics who had a rough stretch in December and are looking to jump-start the middle part of this season in the new year.
Ahead of Thursday night’s game, the Boston Celtics are favored on the road at -2.5 over the Brooklyn Nets.
Two first team All-NBA forwards
Not that the conversation hasn’t been covered enough already, but the combination of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum has been stupefying to watch.
These two pose matchup nightmares on both ends of the court, and the rest of the team around them is being elevated with their level of play. Both Tatum and Brown combine for nearly 60 points a game without breaking too much of a sweat.
Both of them ending up on first team is unlikely with all of the talent in the league, but the argument could definitely be made and the evidence is compelling.
Boston is looking to prove they are the best team in the Eastern Conference.
A new age for the Brooklyn Nets and a chance to prove themselves
Any time a team leader like Kevin Durant exits the lineup it is a big cause for concern. The Brooklyn Nets are facing that situation right now, and players are going to have to step up into bigger roles.
Both Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons have had their rough patches as leaders, but now is a chance to right those wrongs.
The Nets are a good team. Their depth is much improved from last season, and they continue to develop chemistry up and down their roster as the season goes on.
This experience without Durant will give the opportunity for role players to prove their value and showcase why they are one of the best teams in the NBA.
Celtics @ Nets Betting Prediction
Both of these teams are right near the top of the food chain in the NBA, and a win here will solidify their cases.
Without Durant to duel with Tatum, the Nets are already putting themselves at a pretty significant disadvantage, but that isn’t to say they can’t win.
Kyrie Irving loves to play against Boston after his recent, confusing stint there, and this will be one of the first major games since Durant exited the lineup.
With that being said, take the Nets on their home court at +2.5 to beat the Boston Celtics.
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