The Boston Celtics sent the Brooklyn Nets home Monday night, completing a first-round sweep with a 116-112 victory at the Barclays Center.
Brooklyn entered the season as clear NBA title favorites behind Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden. The supposed superteam instead disintegrated throughout the season before the No. 7 seed dropped four straight games to Boston.
No other team has gotten swept this postseason, but it happened to a formidable title contender.
The Nets were the no. 1 title favorites before the season started.
They are the only team to be swept this playoffs. pic.twitter.com/5BHAwy4mlB
— StatMusk (@statmuse) April 26, 2022
Going back to 1984-85, every preseason favourite to win the NBA championship has gone on to win at least ONE playoff game — until now.
The Brooklyn Nets are the first team in recorded history to start the year as the title favourite and fail to win at least one playoff game…
— Josh Eberley 🇨🇦 (@JoshEberley) April 26, 2022
Things haven’t panned out for the Nets since signing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving before the 2019-20 season. They joined forces hoping to win multiple titles, but they’ve instead won just one playoff series.
Adding insult to injury, the team Irving left booted his current squad with a deeper roster led by young stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
it’s been 1029 days since KD & Kyrie signed with the Brooklyn Nets and they have won 1 playoff series total.
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) April 26, 2022
Three years after Kyrie Irving ditched the “young guys” to partner with Kevin Durant in Brooklyn, Celtics sweep the Nets out of the first round of the playoffs.
— Chris Forsberg (@ChrisForsberg_) April 26, 2022
Following their series triumph, the Celtics’ Twitter page mocked Nets fans who chanted, “We want Boston” at the end of their play-in victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Still want Boston? pic.twitter.com/cXbqnrs0Ol
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 26, 2022
Acquired in a midseason blockbuster that sent James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers, Ben Simmons never took the court for Brooklyn. As Sports Illustrated noted, the situation bears an eerie resemblance to him watching the 76ers get swept out of the opening round by the Celtics two years ago.
Ben Simmons 🤝 Self-fulfilling prophecy
The Boston Celtics sweep the Nets, 4-0 🧹🧹🧹🧹 pic.twitter.com/u7Xzeze9Nx
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) April 26, 2022
Steve Nash’s job is reportedly safe, but that didn’t stop all speculation — and jokes — about the head coach’s status.
Steve Nash in Cancun tomorrow not having to see Kyrie for three months pic.twitter.com/7CIC1LPI1t
— Celtics Junkies (@Celtics_Junkies) April 26, 2022
if the Nets move on from Steve Nash, some things they should look for in a new head coach:
—someone who is good at coaching basketball
—a professional basketball coach
—a person who has coached a basketball game before
— Rodger Sherman (@rodger) April 26, 2022
The Nets have a lot of questions to answer this offseason. The Celtics, meanwhile, could face the Milwaukee Bucks in the next round if the defending champions cap off their 3-1 lead over the Chicago Bulls.