Celtics’ playoff run just beginning

There was just one moment Monday night that should have caused concern for Celtics fans.

With 2:49 remaining and the Celtics up by six points, an incompetent official slapped Jayson Tatum with his sixth personal foul.

Tatum’s offense: He fell down.

Actually, one might argue that Tatum was pulled down by Brooklyn Nets guard Goran Dragic. Regardless, the proper call was no call.

Instead Tatum was disqualified by an official named Scott Foster, whose abilities have been compared to those of the worst umpire in Major League Baseball history, Angel Hernandez.

Anyone remotely familiar with Hernandez’s complete ignorance of the strike zone grasps just how bad Scott Foster must be.

The Nets took advantage of that gift and cut the Celtics lead to one point.

And then the Celtics not named Jayson Tatum took advantage of an opportunity to show that they could nail the game down with Tatum reduced to spectating.

With the score 109-108, layups from Jaylen Brown and Al Horford, and continued defensive pressure, topped the Nets from converting an opportunity into reality.

Defense has become the Celtics’ hallmark. It is the key ingredient for their success.

The Celtics completed a sweep of the Brooklyn Nets, a preseason favorite to win the NBA championship.

No one on the planet looked at this series one week ago and saw this coming.

Little did anyone realize how playing relentless defense make Kyrie Irving look like the sniveling little pest that he is, or all-but neutralize Kevin Durant for games 1-3.

Durant broke through Monday night to score 39 points. His teammates couldn’t do enough to capitalize.

There was a period at the beginning of this season during which the Celtics would have folded the moment adversity appeared. Had this been a game in November, it is likely that the Nets would have won going away.

They’re an incredible team,” Durant said. “They have a chance to do some big things the rest of the playoffs. They played amazing.”

When a team accomplishes a 180-degree turn in the middle of the season, the coach has to get a large share of the credit. Ime Udoka, with his team under .500 and spinning its wheels, broke through and ended the sputtering.

So now they prepare to play the defending-NBA champions from Milwaukee, unless the Bulls perform a magic act for the ages.

We’re not going to run from anybody,” Udoka said after Monday night’s triumph.

That much should be clear to anyone paying attention.

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