NBA playoffs: Ranking five best games of the week, with Celtics-Nets leading the way

The 2022 NBA playoffs are well underway, and there’s already been a number of thrilling games. Most notably, the Boston Celtics escaped with a one-point win over the Brooklyn Nets in Game 1 of their series on Sunday thanks to a spinning layup by Jayson Tatum at the buzzer.

As the action continues this week with multiple games every single night. Here’s a look at what should be the best of the bunch:

1.Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets, Game 2

  • Wednesday, April 20, 7 p.m. ET — TNT

This was the most anticipated matchup coming into the playoffs, and Sunday’s electric Game 1, which was one of the best first-round games in recent memory, showed exactly why that was the case. These two teams are so talented and so evenly matched that it feels like every game could be a classic, and that’s before you factor in the drama between Kyrie Irving and the Celtics crowd. If you only have time to watch one NBA playoff game this week, make it this one.

  • Thursday, April 21, 7:30 pm ET — TNT

Only two road teams won a Game 1 over the weekend, and only one of them was a real upset: the Timberwolves going into Memphis and taking down the Grizzlies. Anthony Edwards officially arrived on the scene with a 36-point playoff debut, while Karl-Anthony Towns bounced back from a rough play-in performance with 29 points, 13 rebounds and a post dunk on Jaren Jackson Jr. Regardless of what happens in Game 2, the Wolves will head home to Minnesota with at least a split, and Game 3 should be awesome. This will be the first playoff game in Minneapolis since 2018, and just the third since 2004.

  • Wednesday, April 20, 8 p.m. ET — NBA TV (streaming on fuboTV, try for free)

A not insignificant number of analysts thought the Raptors had a chance to pull the upset in this series, but those chances took a big hit in Game 1 when they were blown out and star rookie Scottie Barnes suffered an ankle injury that will keep him out of at least Game 2. Even so, it should be exciting when this series shifts to Toronto for Game 3. The Raptors always have great crowds, and due to the pandemic, this will be the first playoff game in Toronto since the Raptors won the title in 2019.

4. Brooklyn Nets vs. Boston Celtics, Game 3

  • Saturday, April 23, 7:30 pm — ESPN (streaming on fuboTV, try for free)

Yes, Game 2 is already on the list, and yes, we don’t know how the series will stand heading into Game 3. Still, when you look at the games on the schedule this week, you have to include this one in the must-watch category. All of the same reasons for watching Game 2 apply to this one: elite talent like Jayson Tatum, Kevin Durant, Jaylen Brown and Kyrie Irving; interesting strategic decisions; real drama. And Game 3 will also have the bonus of being a pivotal matchup either way. If the Celtics are up 2-0, they can take a commanding 3-0 lead. If the series is tied 1-1, then each team will be desperate to take Game 3.

  • Thursday, April 21, 10 p.m. ET — TNT

The first game of this series was admittedly not super exciting. Once the Warriors grabbed the lead in the second quarter, they held on to it the rest of the way and cruised to a comfortable double-digit win. Still, any series with Steph Curry and Nikola Jokic involved deserves a spot on this list. No matter how Game 2 of this series goes, the Nuggets are going to come out swinging in Game 3 in front of what should be a great crowd. Plus, there’s still the slight chance that Jamal Murray makes his long-awaited return.

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