Celtics

Celtics

The addition of Kevin Durant and former Celtic Kyrie Irving made the Brooklyn Nets instant contenders in the eyes of many. 

Injuries to both players severely limited their on-the-floor impact, but adding them to the Brooklyn mix clearly made them a different team.

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And it’s that change in DNA that even with the season on pause, makes one wonder just how good the new-look Brooklyn Nets will be when their two stars are up and running again. 

“I don’t want to say it was just necessarily Kyrie, but it was clearly a shift,” Nets beat writer Brian Lewis of the New York Post said on the Celtics Talk Podcast on Wednesday. “They went from being … Brooklyn Grit to the day on June 30 when you brought those two in, to Brooklyn Glitz. It’s a whole different thing; a whole paradigm shift.”

And the Nets of the present and future are both of great interest to the Boston Celtics.

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For starters, they are in the Eastern Conference and if Boston plans to bring home Banner 18 one day, chances are they will have to go through Brooklyn at some point to do so. 

If the NBA season were to resume and go straight to the playoffs, these two teams could potentially meet in the second round of the playoffs with Boston currently riding the third-best record in the East. 

 

And then there’s the Irving factor. 

For an assortment of reasons, the former Celtic did not play in any of the three games between Boston and Brooklyn this season. 

And if these two were to meet in the playoffs, chances are high that the Nets would continue to keep him sidelined since he underwent surgery on March 3 to repair a right shoulder impingement that was expected to keep him out for the remainder of the season.

He would then likely join Durant who was still on the mend following an Achilles tendon injury suffered in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals when he played for the Golden State Warriors.

With all the season being pushed back, is there a chance we could see either if the season resumes and there’s a postseason?

“I think there’s less than a 50 percent chance you’ll see Kyrie or KD playing (in the postseason),” Lewis said. “I think you’ll see the Nets that we saw at the end of the season.”

Whether it’s Irving sprinting up court or on the sideline in a suit, a return to the floor against the Celtics in any capacity would be must-see basketball. 

And if for no other reason than to see him play against Kemba Walker, a matchup Irving recently said he would love to have.

“Me and K-Walk (Walker); I want that matchup,” Irving said. “Me and K-Walk; that’s my matchup. I want K-Walk.  That’s my big bro; I want K-Walk. You know we got mutual respect, but I know everybody wants to see, out of New York (Walker is from the Bronx), out of New Jersey (Irving grew up in West Orange, N.J.); every time we play against each other, it’s always a game. … back and forth.”