The Brooklyn Nets drew first blood in the series against the Milwaukee Bucks. How will the Bucks respond? Will the Nets continue playing well, with or without James Harden? We’ll know more about those this Tuesday.
Catch this game live on Tuesday, June 8, at 7:30 AM, Manila time.
HOME TEAM: Brooklyn Nets (1-0, 1-0 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Kyrie Irving
- SG: Joe Harris
- SF: Bruce Brown
- PF: Kevin Durant
- C: Blake Griffin
Defense has been one of only a few deficiencies on the Nets that people keep on bringing up, but the same group of people didn’t get new material from Brooklyn’s 115-107 home win in Game 1. The Nets held Milwaukee down to only 44.6 FG%. They also disarmed the Bucks’ outside gunners, who went just 6 of 30 from behind the arc.
It was a huge statement for Brooklyn, who showed the ability to combine a sound defense with the team’s already loaded offense — with or without James Harden.
The bearded superstar injured his hamstring early in Game 1. There’s a good chance Harden will miss Game 2, but the good thing about the Nets is that they still have two superstars to carry the scoring load.
Kevin Durant scored 29 points (12-25 FG) in Game 1, while Kyrie Irving flat-out balled with 25 points to go with eight assists. Blake Griffin also showed up, with 18 points and 14 rebounds as part of the starting unit. The Nets are a better team with Harden, but they still are trouble against any team even if they’re rolling with just Durant and Irving. Brooklyn has covered the spread in all of their past six games at Barclays Center.
ROAD TEAM: Milwaukee Bucks (0-1, 0-1 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Jrue Holiday
- SG: Khris Middleton
- SF: PJ Tucker
- PF: Giannis Antetokounmpo
- C: Brook Lopez
It’s back to the drawing board for the Bucks, whose loss to Brooklyn in Game 1 was their first of the playoffs. Milwaukee, who eased into the second round after a four-game demolition job of the Miami Heat, couldn’t keep it going in the second half when the Nets started to pull away.
Khris Middleton was atrocious, scoring 13 points on 6-of-23 shooting from the floor. Jrue Holiday faded in his matchup against Irving, making only 17 points on 7-of-19 shooting. All that being said, one collective bad game from Middleton and Holiday shouldn’t be enough to push the panic button for the Bucks. Remember, the home team is supposed to win, so Brooklyn did what was expected of them.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (34 points, 11 rebounds) didn’t get the help he needed in the series opener, but Middleton and Holiday will always be a threat. Milwaukee outrebounded the Nets in Game 1, 43-41, including a 15-6 difference on the offensive glass. The Bucks are going to get their shots to fall sooner than later, as they look to prove that Brooklyn’s stout defense in Game 1 was a mere anomaly.
Milwaukee will enter Game 2 with a 6-1 record against the spread versus teams with a winning record in the regular season.
Spread: The Bucks will come out stronger in this game, with a livelier offense while dominating the rebounding department again. Take the Bucks to win and cover (+1.5).
Over/Under: Game 1 went way under the line. This time around, take the Over (234.0), as the Bucks provide better scoring.