Celtics legend Cedric Maxwell predicts short series if Nets lose Game 2

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This Celtics legend has bold prediction for series vs. Nets after Game 1 originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Celtics opened their first-round NBA playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets with a thrilling Game 1 win.

The Celtics overcame an incredible 39-point performance from Nets star Kyrie Irving and a late fourth quarter deficit to steal the series opener on a Jayson Tatum buzzer beater.

Celtics Talk: Celtics fans 1, Kyrie Irving 0 after Boston steals Game 1 vs Nets | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

With the first chapter of the series written, what can we expect going forward?

"I think the Celtics, if they're able to win this next game here in Boston, I think it goes five games," Celtics legend and 98.5 The Sports Hub's Cedric Maxwell said Monday on NBC Sports Boston's "Early Edition".

"I think they'll go to Brooklyn and steal one there. To me, the best thing about this is Kyrie has to play perfect and Durant has to play perfect in order for Brooklyn to win the game.

"The biggest thing is if Tatum is the best player on the floor instead of Durant, then that's really a deterrent to what Brooklyn wants to do because you thought this is going to be the matchup that's always going to favor Brooklyn. But that first game, it has favored the Boston Celtics."

Oddsmakers expected this series to be a long one. In fact, the favored series outcome was Celtics in seven games, followed by Nets in seven games. Many experts also predicted the series to go at least six or seven games.

But Maxwell does make a few valid points.

It's hard to see the Nets making this a competitive series if Tatum outplays Durant. Durant played poorly -- by his lofty standards -- in the Nets' Game 1 loss. He scored 25 points on just 9-for-24 shooting with several turnovers. Tatum was better at both ends of the court, including in the clutch. The Celtics star shut down Durant on the Nets' final possession and then scored the game-winning layup at the other end.

A Celtics win on Wednesday night would force the Nets to win four times in the next five games. That kind of challenge likely would be too difficult for a team that defends as poorly as the Nets to overcome.

Note: Games 2-6 of the Brooklyn Nets-Boston Celtics series will be aired on NBC Sports Boston and can also be streamed on NBCSportsBoston.com or with the MyTeams App, which you can download below.

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