Kyrie Irving refuses to let Boston’s hatred affect Nets

Kyrie Irving knows what reception to expect when the Nets play Boston for their first-round playoff series, which begins Sunday at the TD Garden. It’s the same hate he received during last year’s postseason, the same bile he’ll likely have for the rest of his career. He just doesn’t have the time or energy to … Read more

Former Nets assistant Ime Udoka has Celtics clicking as playoffs loom

In his first season as head coach, former Nets assistant Ime Udoka has led the Celtics to one of the best midseason trades in NBA history. And now he stands in the way of his old team, starting Sunday with Game 1 of the first-round playoff series at TD Garden. “He is a player coach. … Read more

NBA playoffs will show Nets if Kyrie Irving is worth the trouble

Is it worth the trouble? That’s the question Kyrie Irving will answer this postseason, once and for all. He’ll become a free agent after it’s over, after he opts out and before Brooklyn weighs the price of re-entering. Irving is eligible for a five-year, around $248 million deal, and if the Nets lose to Boston … Read more

Nets’ Bruce Brown looking forward to facing Celtics

Bruce Brown responded to the question with a question. “What do you think?” she said pointedly. He was asked if the opposing defenses would start toying with him as he continued to set them on fire, if he would soon start to earn respect. The versatile Nets guard/forward knew the answer. Do not. Not when … Read more

East predictions, bracket, schedule, odds

The first round of the NBA Eastern Conference playoffs is upon us! With many fascinating matchups set, the Eastern Conference playoffs will kick off on Saturday when the Raptors play the 76ers. But there’s also plenty of intrigue elsewhere in the East with the Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics and defending champion Milwaukee Bucks. With two … Read more

Kevin Durant ‘not expecting’ Ben Simmons to play against Celtics

The Nets are playing the best opossum game or you shouldn’t expect Ben Simmons to be back any time soon. Amid rumors and reports that the talented but enigmatic newcomer could make his debut for the Nets in the upcoming first-round series against the Celtics, coach Steve Nash and star Kevin Durant dropped a bucket … Read more

Celtics weren’t going to manipulating NBA playoffs to avoid Nets

The Celtics could have avoided Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. They had the option to rest starters and manipulate their playoff seed. The Atlantic Division champions chose not to. “Our thing was to take care of ourselves,” Celtics first-year coach Ime Udoka said Wednesday as formal preparations began for their first-round series against the Nets … Read more

Nets’ defense against Celtics’ Jayson Tatum may determine playoff series

Tatum vs. Brooklyn. The verdict of that case on the court could decide whether the Nets can win their first-round playoff series against the second-seeded Celtics. The Nets’ Kyrie Irving is going to be booed by Celtics fans, beginning with his return to the TD Garden for Game 1 on Sunday, just as he does … Read more

Ben Simmons may play for Nets against Celtics in NBA playoffs

Ben Simmons and his sore back are in a race against time, hoping to get on the court before the Nets run out of season. “Yes [Simmons plays], we’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” Celtics star Jayson Tatum said Wednesday as Boston prepared to host the Nets in Game 1 of their first-round … Read more

Kevin Durant’s brilliance a Nets constant during rough season

Forget everything that bewitched, annoyed and baffled the Nets this season. There’s been a reason to tune in every night to watch and then play for, well, at least 55 days and nights, anyway. Kevin Durant is that reason. Nothing else has gone according to plan during this three-year chapter. The Nets were quickly excused … Read more