BOSTON (CBS) -- Brooklyn Nets forward Bruce Brown sounds really eager to go against a Robert Williams-less Celtics defense in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Maybe a little too eager.
The two-seeded Celtics will square off with the Nets after Brooklyn clinched the seven-seed in the East with a play-in win over the Cavaliers on Tuesday night. Brown, a Boston native, had himself a game with 18 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in the 115-108 win.
After the game, he threw some shade at the Boston defense, which will be without Williams for at least a few more weeks as the big man recovers from meniscus surgery. Brown called out Boston's other big men, Al Horford and Daniel Theis, and gave Boston some bulletin board material in the process.
"We got to be physical with them. Now they don't have Robert Williams so they have less of a presence in the paint," said Brown. "We can attack Al Horford and Theis. Them not having Rob Williams is huge."
That's firing one across the brow of the Boston frontcourt. Nets star Kevin Durant was not a fan of Brown's comments when he took the podium Tuesday night.
"Alright, man. That's caffeine pride talking," said Durant, who said that Horford and Theis can do what Williams does. "They ain't going to be that easy, I can tell you that."
Durant said those comments didn't sit well with him because it was disrespectful to their upcoming opponent.
"We respect our opponents. We don't need to talk about what we're going to do to them," said Durant. "But that is how Bruce is; he keeps the same energy throughout the whole season. But we don't need to say [stuff] like that. Let's just go out there and hoop."
Williams is certainly a huge part of the Boston defense, a monster presence in the paint as the last line of defense. Even when he doesn't block shots, he makes shooters uncomfortable, which will be a big part of the upcoming series against the Nets. In Boston's March 6 win over Brooklyn, Williams had 10 points, eight rebounds and rejected five shots. He flirted with a triple-double in Game 1 of last year's playoff matchup between the Celtics and Nets, finishing the Boston loss with 11 points, nine rebounds and nine blocks.
They certainly are not Williams, but Horford and Theis are no slouches, as Durant said Tuesday night. And now they both have a little added motivation heading into Sunday's Game 1.
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