NBA 3 on 3 Tournament Round One -- Boston Celtics Vs. Brooklyn Nets

This Eastern Conference showdown between the 4 seed and the 13 seed features two of the marquee teams in the league right now. Unfortunately, one of them is going to be going home.

The Boston Celtics have one of the most recognizable threesomes in the entire tournament. The C's have one of only three teams where all three players have been All Stars. It remains to be seen if Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett will have enough left in the tank to lead the Celtics to contender status in the NBA this season, but in a 3 on 3 tournament, they'll be really tough, if only for their relentless defense.

Meanwhile, all eyes are on the Nets this season as they move to Brooklyn. They didn't land Dwight Howard, but they did trade for Joe Johnson and re-sign Deron Williams and Brook Lopez, the threesome that just happens to make up their 3 on 3 team. That's a formidable offensive unit, but if any team can stop them it might be these Celtics.

Let's see what our panel of experts has to say.

  • Tom Ziller, SB Nation NBA, Sactown Royalty -- Teams split 10 games each
  • Andrew Sharp, SB Nation NBA -- Brooklyn wins 11 of 20
  • Steve Perrin, SB Nation NBA, Clips Nation -- Boston wins 14 of 20
  • J.R. Wilco, Pounding the Rock -- Boston wins 18 of 20
  • Adam Francis, Raptors HQ -- Boston wins 16 of 20
  • Overall probabilities -- Boston 67 percent; Brooklyn 33 percent

Expert Comments:

I refuse to anger either fan base. -- Ziller

I think these three Celtics still have it, and I don't expect Johnson and Lopez to be a lot of help to Williams. -- Perrin

D-Will and Joe Johnson in the wide open court would be too much for those old legs to handle. 5-on-5 Boston still has the edge, but not even Rajon Rondo can save them here. The only reason it's close is because Paul Pierce's irrational old man pride would win them 5 games all by itself. -- Sharp

Rondo, Pierce and Kevin Garnett - wow. That's one seriously dangerous 3 on 3 team. Defense, scoring, rebounding, play making: they have it all. I hate to say it, but I'd put them up against any other team in this tourney. I'm going to say that Johnson gets hot for a game and Williams does the same in another, but the other 18 belong to the Celts. It's official. I'm scared of a team besides Miami. -- Wilco

Brooklyn might get a few wins, but think the C's outclass the Nets at both ends of the court. -- Francis

The Bottom Line

Once again we have a split panel, with three judges picking the Celtics, one taking the Nets, and one wimping out calling it a toss up. Even so, the Celtics end up being a 2-to-1 favorite.

A quick note on the percentages to answer some questions from the comments. The percentages are being used to determine the outcome of each game in a best two of three competition. In the case of the Nets, they have a 33 percent chance of winning any one game -- which makes their likelihood of winning the series even less than one in three. You can brush up on your Bernoulli trials here, but with a 33 percent chance to win a single game, the Nets actually have about a 1 in 4 chance to win the series (25.4826 percent by my math). I've been a little loose with my phrasing in earlier posts and I apologize for that.

Each outcome is of course random, determined by a roll of percentile dice. Celtics fans want to see a roll of 67 or lower, Nets fans want 68 or higher.

Now that we've got that out of the way, leave a comment about who you think will win this series. Or leave a comment about Bernoulli trials and correcting my math. Either one is fine.

The results will be posted later this afternoon.

For a complete look at the SB Nation 3 on 3 Tournament, check back with this StoryStream.

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