Tuesday Night NBA Action- Bucks vs Nets Preview
The 43-17 Milwaukee Bucks take on the 34-26 Brooklyn (New Jersey/Jay-Z) Nets Tuesday night in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center. This is the third time these two teams have played this season with the Bucks winning game one 110-99 in Milwaukee and the Nets winning game two 118-100. The game will be on Bally’s sports and on NBA TV.
The party’s over in Brooklyn. They have now dealt both Kyrie and KD. They had a great 12 game winning streak from December 7th until January 2nd. But after Kyrie Irving was traded on Feb. 6th for two players and three draft picks: Spencer Dinwiddie, Doran Finley-Smith, two second round picks and a 2029 first round pick, it was clear the franchise was moving in a different direction. On Feb. 9th the unthinkable then followed as the Nets dealt Kevin Durant for Mikal Bridgers, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, and four future first round picks to the Suns. The Nets appear to now be in rebuild mode.
Because the Nets were playing so well before they started trading everyone they are still going to make the playoffs. (They have a 96.2% chance). But it was no surprise to anyone here that the Nets, and so many Eastern Conference teams in fact did implode.
Related: Bucks stay cool while the Eastern Conference Implodes
Play like you’ve won 14 in a row
Milwaukee beat the Trail Blazers on game 7 of this 14 game winning streak in a fun, somewhat defense-less NBA regular season game. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 24 points and 13 rebounds in the game. Milwaukee led the entire game, pushing their advantage to 26 in the second half. Against the Nets they should do the same thing. Score early; score often.
This win streak started against Detroit when Milwaukee put up 150 points. That’s a lot. The Bucks should look to score. The Nets have given up an average of 130 points in their last two games since the big trades were made.
Milwaukee has made all the right moves in setting up this championship run. By adding Jae Crowder, Meyers Leonard and with the return of Khris Middleton, the trade deadline has given this roster the “pick-up” that was needed.
Hit some threes
Milwaukee was a little flat in shooting the three against Phoenix. They went 13-45 from behind the arc. (28%) For this game they need to shoot better from three.
Overcome the home court advantage?
It has been fun researching if the Nets, do in fact, get any type of home court advantage. Similar to So-Fi stadium in LA, rumors abound that the Barclay’s center can be quiet as a church mouse. The Nets have never had a tremendous advantage there, record-wise.
The Nets are fine at home, 18-11, but playing at the Barclays has never seemed like much of an advantage for them. Ever.
If the Bucks can get off to a fast start, they should be able to negate any advantage even more.
Related: Bucks aim for the perfect February
The Opponent: The “New-Look” Brooklyn Nets
With Ben Simmons hurt, James Harden gone, Kyrie Irving gone and Kevin Durant gone, who is left? Well, it all comes down to Nic Claxton. Claxton and Brook Lopez of the Bucks are in a race to see who’ll lead the NBA in blocked shots. (2.6 vs 2.4). Memphis forward Jaren Jackson is embroiled in a controversy where the stat keepers were rigging his numbers for him so he doesn’t count.
Otherwise Brooklyn is building for the future. Mikal Bridges would technically lead the team in scoring (22 points a game) if you rolled over his numbers from Phoenix. He is young, long, lean, and can score.
Cam Johnson is very similar. It was clear that if the Suns were going to go get Durant they wouldn’t need Bridges or Johnson. Also, it was rumored that Johnson taking over his starting role was the reason Jae Crowder sat out with the Suns.
Spencer Dinwiddie is the new-”old” point guard. (He is on his second stint with the Nets.) His numbers are good (15/6/4). But he will turn the ball over. (2.3 a game)
Cam Thomas and Seth Curry are both hot-handed shooting guards who can score and change the momentum of a game.
Things to tell your buddies as you are watching the game
- Kevin Durant is 34. Where will he be in 5 years? We took a look.
- Brooklyn had the highest team field goal percentage in the NBA. (50.4%) They have recently fallen behind the Denver Nuggets.
- The Bucks are climbing up the scoring ladder as well. They are now 15th in the NBA in team three point shooting. They are also shooting 46% from the field. What else is keeping them in games? Lock-down team defense.
- Brooklyn, as a team, averages 113.8 points per game. Also, as a team, they give up 113 points per game.
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