The Brooklyn Nets carry a lot of cachet given their superstar trio of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving. They've earned their swagger.
But Tristan Thompson told reporters on Monday the Boston Celtics, currently trailing the Nets 1-0 in their Eastern Conference first round series, aren't going to be intimidated (warning: contains profanity):
The Nets claimed Game 1, 104-93, with the trio of Durant (32 points, 12 rebounds), Harden (21 points, nine rebounds, eight assists) and Irving (29 points) providing far more firepower than the Celtics could suppress.
But even if Brown was available, or Tatum was playing at an elite level, the Celtics would still be underdogs. Head coach Brad Stevens told reporters on Monday that Boston would have to be far more explosive on offense going forward to have any chance in this series:
"I think that, obviously, I thought we played good defense. But I think we have to score more than 110 to beat these guys on a normal night. That's where, again, we have to be way better offensively, and we have to bring that same energy level and competitiveness to be alert to different things that they do, different spacing they do, different screening angles they do, and they're really good at that."
Brooklyn clearly has the edge in talent, and by a wide margin. But Thompson and the Celtics aren't conceding anything to the Nets just yet.
"At the end of the day, they put their socks on and their shoes on just like us," he said. "So, we're not intimidated or anything like that."