Bucks vs. Nets predictions, picks, schedule & extra to know for 2021 NBA playoff sequence

What to find out about Bucks vs. Nets

Milwaukee and Brooklyn met 3 times through the 2020-21 common season, however what did these contests actually inform us? The Nets by no means had their full “Massive Three” accessible towards the Bucks — Kyrie Irving missed the primary recreation, and James Harden sat out the opposite two — so it will be unwise to look into the outcomes too deeply.

However now these Japanese Convention powerhouses are heading into the second spherical with the complete set of stars able to go.

The Bucks have been the primary crew to enter the convention semifinals after simply dispatching the Warmth. Six totally different Milwaukee gamers averaged not less than 10 factors per recreation in that first-round sweep, together with reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who posted 23.5 factors, 15.0 rebounds and seven.8 assists towards Miami.

The Nets, in the meantime, eradicated a battered Celtics squad in 5 video games, solely dropping Sport 3 in Boston. Kevin Durant, Harden and Irving every shined within the sequence and confirmed precisely why many followers and analysts think about Brooklyn the favourite to win the NBA championship.

So what’s going to occur when these contenders meet at heart courtroom? Let’s dive in…

The important thing matchup

Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. Kevin Durant

Nobody can cease Durant. He is likely one of the best scorers within the historical past of the sport, and he will get buckets at each degree, whether or not close to the basket, within the midrange or past the arc.

With that stated, Antetokounmpo is constructed to not less than make it powerful for him. What number of defenders can really block a Durant jumper?

Antetokounmpo proved he was prepared to simply accept the hardest defensive project when he guarded Warmth star Jimmy Butler within the first spherical. Butler averaged simply 14.5 factors per recreation whereas taking pictures lower than 30 p.c from the sector. He went 3-of-12 with Antetokounmpo as his major defender, per NBA.com matchup information.

“Giannis has distinctive defensive expertise, and Butler is such a terrific expertise, scorer, passer,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer stated. “It takes lots of self-discipline to protect a man like Jimmy Butler. For Giannis to have that self-discipline with the competitiveness makes him particular.”

Durant is a very totally different problem, after all. He torched the Celtics with unbelievable effectivity, together with a 42-point effort through which he hit 14 of his 20 area aim makes an attempt. 

The massive query is whether or not Budenholzer will make use of the identical technique he used within the first spherical by telling Antetokounmpo to concentrate on Durant, or if he’s extra involved with Harden’s playmaking than Durant’s scoring brilliance. That is the brutal a part of dealing with the Nets — plug one gap within the boat, and one other one immediately seems.

The X-factor

Will one of many sharpshooters get scorching?

Milwaukee is aware of higher than any crew how a lot one shooter can change a sequence. Throughout the 2019 Japanese Convention finals, Raptors guard Fred VanVleet had the best three-game taking pictures stretch in playoff historical past towards the Bucks, hitting 14 of his 17 3-pointers in Video games 4-6. Toronto received all three of these video games and superior to the NBA Finals.

Each groups have guys able to catching fireplace from the surface. Nets guard Joe Harris led the league in 3-point proportion this season (47.5 p.c), and it wasn’t simply because he picked his spots, as he took 6.4 makes an attempt from deep per recreation.

Bucks guard Bryn Forbes wasn’t far behind Harris through the common season, taking pictures 45.2 p.c on 4.9 3-point makes an attempt per recreation. He drilled 16 of his 33 triples towards the Warmth.

Harris and Forbes are removed from the most important names on this sequence, however they might simply swing a recreation or two.

The massive quantity


Heading into Tuesday’s Sport 5, Brooklyn had the bottom defensive rebounding proportion amongst all playoff groups at 64.9 p.c, per NBA.com stats. Why is {that a} notable quantity?

Nicely, as of Tuesday, Milwaukee was second amongst all playoff groups in offensive rebounding proportion (33.6) behind solely, sure, Boston (35.1). The Bucks are additionally first in second-chance factors per recreation (18.8), a notable improve from the common season (13.2).

If the Nets cannot preserve Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez, P.J. Tucker and others off the boards, that may very well be an enormous drawback.

Bucks vs. Nets schedule

The sequence schedule will likely be posted right here when the NBA proclaims dates and occasions for every recreation.

Bucks vs. Nets prediction

Bucks in seven

This sequence needs to be fascinating and aggressive from the beginning. It would not be a shock to see Brooklyn construct off first-round momentum and roll by the East, however that feels too dismissive of Milwaukee’s expertise and chemistry.

The Bucks get a very slight edge right here as a result of they will assault a number of methods offensively and have proven they are often an elite crew defensively.

“You gotta determine methods to maintain successful,” Antetokounmpo stated. “I feel this crew’s so versatile. You realize, we will win a recreation with protection, scoring 80 factors to win the sport. One recreation we will rating 130 factors. One recreation we will rating 80 factors within the paint. One recreation we will rating 25 threes, so that is what makes us such a novel crew.” 

One prediction that feels protected: This needs to be lots of enjoyable.

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