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Nets’ Steve Nash excited to face Celtics, praises Ime Udoka in role of Boston’s emergence 

Photo: Matthew J. Lee/Boston Globe

Powered by Kyrie Irving’s efficient night, the Brooklyn Nets punched its ticket for a postseason seat and thrashed the Cleveland Cavaliers, 115-108, on Tuesday evening of their Eastern Conference Play-in contest. As such, a familiar foe is waiting for them to advance within the playoff arena. 

And for the second consecutive year, they are set for a square-off against the Boston Celtics in another marquee first-round showdown. 

Thanks to a late-season surge behind a spectacular defensive identity, the second-seeded Celtics will grab a home-court advantage this time over the Nets. With that, Steve Nash has nothing but praise for his former assistant and now the coaching head of the ball club he’ll face, Ime Udoka, for turning the tables around. 

Nash spoke in post-game of the Nets-Cavs duel and expressed his excitement about the upcoming challenge that the Cs will present. 

“I’m really impressed with the Celtics, and the job Ime [Udoka] has done,” Nash said, via Nets reporter Chris Milholen. “It’ll be a great challenge for us. For a new group to play a team that’s terrific on both ends is going to be something that hopefully brings out the best in us.”

After a gentleman’s sweep that happened last season, the Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown-led Celtics are on the hunt for an act of vengeance against the Nets’ superstar duo of Irving and Kevin Durant. While there are plenty of enticing narratives to present, the overwhelming offensive face-off between these two eastern giants is thrilling enough to look into. 

With both Robert Williams and Ben Simmons still unavailable, both teams do share a key absent player. Time will only tell if they will be able to enforce their squad to conquer the seven-game war. 

The Nets are now preparing to travel to Massachusetts as they are scheduled to fight the Celtics in Game 1 inside the TD Garden on Sunday afternoon. 

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