Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets will look to close out the series in six games this Friday, but that’s going to be easier said than done, as they will have to do it on the Milwaukee Bucks’ home floor. What kind of fireworks are we going to see in this game?
Catch this game live on Friday, June 18, at 8: 30 AM, Manila time
HOME TEAM: Milwaukee Bucks (2-3, 2-0 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Jrue Holiday
- SG: Khris Middleton
- SF: P.J. Tucker
- PF: Giannis Antetokounmpo
- C: Brook Lopez
At some point in the third quarter of Game 5, the Bucks had a 94.1 percent chance of going up 3-2 in the series. But Kevin Durant happened and left the Bucks reeling with a 114-108 loss. It all boiled down to the Bucks not having an answer for Durant.
Viewed as the Bucks’ top KD-stopper, PJ Tucker got lit up over and over again by Durant. With Milwaukee’s back against the wall, head coach Mike Budenholzer might have to give in to Giannis Antetokounmpo’s demand and try the two-time MVP as Durant’s primary defender in a can’t-lose Game 6.
As for the Bucks’ offense, it’s gotten better of late. Khris Middleton has broken out of his slump, scoring 19 points in Game 4 and 25 in Game 5, though he shot just 36.4 FG% in the latter. Nevertheless, he needs to keep shooting and make Brooklyn spend energy on defense.
James Harden looked very rusty in his first game back from an injury in Game 5, so the Bucks might have to hunt for switches or isolation plays with Harden defending. The Bucks are 4-1 ATS in their last five games in the playoffs as the favorite.
ROAD TEAM: Brooklyn Nets (3-2, 0-2 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: James Harden
- SG: Joe Harris
- SF: Bruce Brown
- PF: Kevin Durant
- C: Blake Griffin
With James Harden still getting his bearings back and without Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant took it upon himself to carry the Nets. Durant dropped a sledgehammer on Milwaukee in Game 5, scoring 49 points on 16-of-23 shooting from the field with 17 rebounds and 10 assists.
He basically functioned as though he was all of Brooklyn’s three superstars rolled into one killing machine. Harden was only 1 of 10 from the floor in that game, but he could be better in Game 6 after finally getting a taste of competitive action again. It’s still important for the Nets’ supporting players to step up, especially with Durant and Harden playing at least 46 minutes each in the previous contest.
Uncle Jeff Green had 27 points on the strength of seven 3-pointers in Game 5, but it’s unlikely he’ll get that hot again. Expect more minutes for the likes of Mike James and Nicolas Claxton after the two played for just a total of five minutes. The Nets are 8-1 ATS in their last nine Friday (Manila) games.
Spread: Durant can go off for 50 again, but Uncle Jeff’s Klay Thompson cosplay is only good for a game. The Bucks are going to win Game 6, with the Nets covering the spread. (+5.5)
Over/Under: This is the lowest the total line has opened so far in this series. Take the Over (220.0)