What to Know About Bucks vs. Nets
Milwaukee and Brooklyn met three times during the 2020-21 regular season, but what did those competitions really tell us? The Nets never had their full “Big Three” available against the Bucks—Kyrie Irving missed the first game, and James Harden out the other two—so it would be unwise to look too deeply into the results.
But now these Eastern Conference powerhouses are heading into the second round, with the full set of stars ready to go.
The Bucks were the first team to enter the conference semifinals after easily sending up the heat. Six different Milwaukee players averaged at least 10 points per game in that first-round sweep, including MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who posted 23.5 points, 15.0 rebounds and 7.8 assists against Miami.
Meanwhile, the Nets eliminated a battered Celtics squad in five games, only to miss Game 3 in Boston. Kevin Durant, Harden, and Irving each shone in the series and they showed why many fans and analysts consider Brooklyn the favorite to win the NBA championship.
So what will happen when these claimants meet in the Center Court? Let’s dive…
Giannis Antetokounmpo Vs. Kevin Durant
No one can stop Durant. He is one of the greatest scorers in the history of the game, and he gets the bucket at every level, whether it is near the basket, in the middle or beyond the arc.
With that said, Antetokounmpo is at least made to make it difficult for him. How many defenders can actually block the Durant jumper?
Antetokounmpo proved he was ready to accept the toughest defensive task when he defended Heat star Jimmy Butler in the first round. Butler averaged only 14.5 points per game, shooting less than 30 percent off the field. He went 3-of-12 with Antetokounmpo as his primary defender, Matchup data per NBA.com.
“Giannis has unparalleled defensive talent, and Butler is such a great talent, scorer, passer,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer. “It takes a lot of discipline to defend someone like Jimmy Butler. Having that discipline along with the competition for Giannis is what makes him special.”
Durant is a completely different challenge. He shattered the Celtics with incredible efficiency, including a 42-point effort in which he hit 14 of his 20 field goal attempts.
The big question is whether Budenholzer will adopt the same strategy he used in the first round to focus Antetokounmpo on Durant, or if he is more concerned about Harden’s play than Durant’s scoring talent. That’s the brutal part of facing the trap – plug one hole in the boat, and another suddenly appears.
Will a sharpshooter be hot?
Milwaukee knows better than any team how much one shooter can change a series. During the 2019 Eastern Conference Finals, Raptors guard Fred VanValet had Biggest three-game shooting stretch In playoff history against the Bucks, he shot 14 of his 17 3-pointers in game 4-6. Toronto won all three of those games and advanced to the NBA Finals.
Both teams have players capable of catching fire from outside. Nets guard Joe Harris led the league in a 3-point percentage this season (47.5 percent), and it wasn’t just because he picked his spots that he made 6.4 tries from deep per game.
Bucks guard Brian Forbes was not far behind Harris during the regular season, shooting 45.2 percent on 4.39 3-point attempts per game. He drilled 16 of his 33 triples against the Heat.
Harris and Forbes are far from the biggest names in this series, but they could easily swing a game or two.
Moving into Tuesday’s Game 5, Brooklyn had the lowest defensive rebounding percentage among all playoff teams. 64.9 percent, Per NBA.com stats. Why is this a remarkable number?
Well, as of Tuesday, Milwaukee was second in offensive rebounding percentage (33.6) of all playoff teams, behind only yes, Boston (35.1). there are also boxes First in second chance points per game (18.8), a significant increase from regular season (13.2).
If the Nets can’t keep Antetokounmpo, Brooke Lopez, PJ Tucker and others off the board, it could be a big problem.
Bucks vs. Net Schedule
(all time eastern)
|The date||sport||Time||national tv|
|June 5||game 1||7:30 pm||TNT|
* if necessary
Bucks vs Net Prediction
The series should be engaging and competitive from the start. It would be no surprise to see Brooklyn build up first-round momentum and roll through east, but it defies much of Milwaukee’s brilliance and chemistry.
box a. Get very There is a slight edge here as they can attack in a variety of ways and have shown they can be an elite team defensively.
“You have to find ways to keep winning.” Antetokounmpo said. “I think this team is so versatile. You know, we can win a game with defense scoring 80 points to win the game. In a game we can get 130 points. In a game we paint, we get 80 points. We can score 25 threes in a game, so that’s what makes us such a unique team.”
One prediction that feels safe: It must be a lot of fun.
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