Former Celtics star predicts Boston will beat Nets in Game 7 of first round

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The Boston Celtics don't yet know which team they will play in the first round of the 2022 NBA playoffs, but it's probably going to be the Brooklyn Nets.

The winner of Tuesday night's play-in tournament game between the Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers at the Barclays Center will earn the No. 7 seed and square off against the No. 2 seed Celtics in Round 1.

The Nets are heavy favorites to defeat the Cavs, who have struggled over the last few weeks with just three wins in their last 10 games.

Assuming the Nets beat the Cavaliers and set up a fascinating first-round matchup with the Celtics, which team will emerge and earn a trip to the second round?

One former Celtics star, Antoine Walker, thinks the series will go the distance, with Boston narrowly escaping as the victors. Walker sees Boston's elite defense being too much for Brooklyn to overcome.

Check out the segment below for Walker's full take on a potential Celtics-Nets series:

The Nets were seen as title favorites by many people entering the season, but the 2021-22 campaign has been a rocky one for franchise, to say the least. James Harden was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in February, with Ben Simmons going to the Nets. Simmons still hasn't played for Brooklyn and it's unknown if he'll suit up in Round 1. Kyrie Irving missed most of the team's home games due to New York City's COVID-19 vaccination requirements. Those restrictions are no longer in place, though. Injuries have hampered the Nets, too, with Kevin Durant missing over 20 games.

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It's been a tough year for the Nets, but with Durant and Irving both healthy, they're still a very dangerous team. 

That said, the Celtics were the best defensive team in the league this season. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown also have taken their games to another level in 2022. Boston has a deeper roster, a better bench and home court advantage over whichever team they play in the first round.

The Celtics should come out of Round 1 if they play the Nets, but it's unlikely to be a short series.

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