Karalis: Boston Celtics not quite ready to run with East’s best

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They’re not ready yet.

The Celtics came into this game feeling themselves a little bit. They were 8-3 in the last 11 games, boasting the league’s top defense over that stretch. The competition wasn’t great, but they did what they had to do.

Then the Nets showed up.

“It helps I guess that there’s competition between us two teams, we’re all going to be around here late in the season,” Kevin Durant said, also taking the opportunity to jab his former Nets coach. “It was good to beat Ime (Udoka). I get excited about coming here and winning in Boston. It’s a tough place to play. But now that Ime is a coach, it makes it even sweeter.”

Brooklyn came in hot and stayed that way. Patty Mills was “FIBA Patty,” one of the most unstoppable forces in basketball. Kevin Durant did whatever he wanted. James Harden was drawing 2020-21 NBA season fouls.

Story continues