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Garden Report: Is Celtics-Nets series over?

Questions about James Harden, Tristan Thompson and Jayson Tatum dominated the Garden Report this week.

Boston Celtics v Brooklyn Nets - Game Two Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

The Nets beat the Celtics 130-108 after a more competitive Game 1, as Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker deal with injuries just as Brooklyn’s core hits its stride. The series appears over, if there was hope to begin with, raising second-guesses old and new, along with questions about how Boston can close the evident gap that’s formed between itself and a contender like Brooklyn. The Garden Report debated these topics and more on CLNS Media.

Robert Williams III No Longer Worth Trading

Jeff Goodman took back his Robert Williams III trade take after watching him block 9 shots in Celtics vs Nets Game 1. Boston nearly upset Brooklyn in the series opener, but after the Nets locked in and dropped 130 points on the Celtics, it appears the series is over, and both Jeff and Bob buried the Celtics in what Bob called the worst season with real expectations for a Celtics team he’s seen. They dove into possible solutions, but trading Rob will no longer be among the answers, even in a potential Bradley Beal package.

Would James Harden Trade Have SAVED the Celtics Season?

James Harden was traded to Brooklyn to join fellow All-Stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, and form a trio of some of the NBA’s highest scorers back in early January. The trade for Harden led the Nets to move Jarrett Allen and forward Taurean Prince to Cleveland, and guard Caris LeVert and forward Rodions Kurucs, as well as three first-round draft picks (2022, 2024, and 2026) and four first-round pick swaps (2021, 2023, 2025 and 2027) to Houston.

Before the trade, there were multiple rumors and reports on the Rockets’ environment and culture and Harden’s role in it all. As a result, a few teams reportedly took themselves out of the Harden trade conversations, as they thought it wasn’t worth the price for a player whose contract only lasted two more seasons, was already 31-years-old, and hadn’t won a ring.

The Celtics were one of these teams, despite being on Harden’s preferred destination list. The Celtics preferred keeping Jaylen Brown instead, who is now out for the remainder of the season, but took another jump this year while becoming a first-time All-Star and finishing with a career-high in 24 PTS, 6 REBS, and over 3 ASTS. Although, Harden at one point was being considered for MVP and finished the season with a double-double with about 25 PTS and 11 ASTS, plus 8 REBS.

Looking back on both teams now, the Celtics struggled all season, especially with playmaking, while the Nets look like an offensive juggernaut. Should the Celtics have included Brown in a package to get Harden? The Garden Report analyzes and debates it all in the following video.

Why Jayson Tatum Isn’t STEPPING UP in Celtics vs Nets

After playing 21 minutes, Celtics All Star Jayson Tatum got poked in the eye and had to exit the game and head to the locker room. The injury kept him out for the rest of the game.

Head Coach Brad Stevens shared Tatum’s eye looks red and swollen. Also, that Tatum tried to go back on the court and readjust to the light, but his eye was bothering him. Although, Celtics guard Marcus Smart said Jayson Tatum seemed good after the game, and that his injury was unfortunate, but not very serious. Says he expects Tatum to play in Game 3.

While he played in the Celtics blowout loss in game 2 vs the Nets, Tatum put up 9 PTS, 4 REBS, and led the team in +/- with -28. The Garden Report reflects on Tatum’s recent struggles with this team, and debates if he can turn things around to help lead this team to win over the Nets.

Why Did the Celtics Start Tristan Thompson Over Robert Williams?

Did the Celtics or Brad Stevens learn anything after game one’s loss? If so, why was nothing really put into effect?

Despite Celtics big man Tristan Thompson’s individual numbers, the Nets are having their way with Thompson on the defense-side as they attack the basket. The Celtics usual starting big man in Robert Williams suffered another toe injury during the NBA play-in tournament and is limited in playing time. As a result, Tristan Thompson is getting more minutes, by why did Brad Stevens start him again in game two after seeing Thompson struggle to stop anyone defensively in game one? Also, despite the injury, Robert Williams looked like one of the best players on the floor during the game, as his play drew praise from Nets stars Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving.

The Garden Report put into question Brad Stevens’ adjustments (or lack of) and analyze how it impacted the game. Who should get the start for game 3 on Friday, Robert Williams or Tristan Thompson or someone else?

Is Celtics vs Nets OVER After Game 2?

Bobby Manning is reporting live from Barclays Center in Brooklyn where the Celtics lost game 2 in a playoff series matchup vs. the Nets. The game ending with a score of 108-130, the Nets offense got off to a hot start unlike game 1. Their offense help them gain and keep the lead throughout the whole game, as guard Joe Harris tied a franchise playoff record with seven 3-pointers and had 25 PTS for the night, in addition to stars Kevin Durant adding 26 PTS and James Harden 20 PTS . The Nets now have 2-0 lead in their first-round playoff series. The Celtics struggled to find any rhythm, as their star player in Jayson Tatum scored only 9 PTS on 3-12 shooting before leaving the game due to getting poked in the eye.

Game 3 is on Friday in Boston, where the Celtics hope to get help from their fans in attendance to give them the boost to turn it around.

Press conferences

Boston Celtics

Jayson Tatum

Marcus Smart

Brad Stevens

Brooklyn Nets

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