The Milwaukee Bucks will face the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night, and the Bucks will be happy to return at home after being crushed in the first two games in New York.
Milwaukee (3rd seed) was great in the first round against Miami, playing very convincing in a 4-0 sweep. It seemed like the playoff jitters were finally over for Giannis and the Bucks, but all the questions returned after the first two games against the Nets. Milwaukee was dreadful, getting blown out twice, and that was with the Nets missing James Harden!
Brooklyn (2nd seed) had a huge scare when Harden went down in the first minute of Game 1, and surely there were many who were thinking this might be it for them. Durant, Irving and Harden might be the highest rated trio in the history of the NBA – but take one of them away (especially Durant or Harden) and the team doesn’t look as good anymore – they are not very deep. Nevertheless, the Nets played fantastic basketball and cruised in the first two games.
Injury report: DiVincenzo, who suffered a season ending injury in the previous series, is the only absentee for the Bucks. Nets are still without Harden, Green and Dinwiddie.
The Bucks were embarassing in Games 1 and 2, but I don’t think this series is over, not as long as Harden remains unavailable.
The Bucks, a great three point shooting team, were horrific in the first two games: 20% and 29% percent. You have to believe that will not happen again, particularly as Brooklyn’s defense is not elite – it was not a case of them locking up the three point line – the Bucks just missed. The law of averages should come into effect, and the Bucks are also now at home, where it’s well known that role players have a better shooting touch.
I reckon the Bucks will have a resurgence and make a statement here after being killed by fans and media. Look for them to come out strong, have a much better shooting night from distance and control the game. I would also expect the Nets role players to regress a bit (same law of averages).
I’m backing the Bucks here. Brooklyn with just Durant and Kyrie doesn’t scare me that much. The average line is -3.5 points, but I suggest trying to find -3 asian, as it is available at many bookies. Prediction: Milwaukee Bucks – Brooklyn Nets 122 – 112.