Bucks vs Nets Preview
The 22-09 Milwaukee Bucks take on the 19-13 Brooklyn (New Jersey/Jay-Z) Nets Friday Night before the big showcase match-up on Christmas Day against Boston. This is the second time these two teams have played with the Bucks winning game one 110-99 in Milwaukee. The game will be on Bally’s Sports and on NBA TV.
Vegas has the Bucks as underdogs in this one, giving up 4 points. Brooklyn is at home, it is a Friday night- expect a high scoring affair. (Take the Over)
Kevin Durant has been playing well of late but so has Giannis. Kyrie is starting to play (and score) again, but Jrue Holiday is “top-five” in a plethora of point guard metrics. Nic Claxton, the Nets’ center is number two in blocked shots; Brook Lopez is number one. It should be, as most good games are, a game of match-ups.
Who wants it more?
Fans say this all the time: “they didn’t try hard enough.” But in this case in this NBA regular season game, the team that puts out the most effort probably will actually win.
To that end a key for Milwaukee will be to rebound the ball and win all of the hustle plays. Brooklyn will be able to keep up with the Bucks if they push the tempo. But can Brooklyn win back the momentum in the game if the Bucks win on the boards? Brooklyn has been flat-out awful and rebounding the basketball. (40 per game) Milwaukee is second in the NBA in team rebounding. (48.5) Brooklyn is second to last.
Also, this is a game that will be about the hustle and 50/50 balls. For the Bucks if Kevin Durant gets five extra possessions, Brooklyn is getting “automatic” points (10+) from that. Milwaukee can control the tempo by making threes, winning 50/50 balls, and rebounding.
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, 10-5, 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.
The Opponent: The Brooklyn Nets
This is always a tough game for the Milwaukee. Flat-earth aficionado Kyrie Irving has always been a player to give this team trouble. He averages 24.5 points a game against the Bucks; he’s averaging 24.6 points a game right now. He’ll be the player to contain.
Kevin Durant is playing well, averaging 33 points a game in his career vs Milwaukee.
Nic Claxton has also come into his own. He plays a ton (30+ minutes a game) and is second in the NBA in blocked shots.
Ben Simmons is just having an “odd” season. He only played 19 minutes in the Nets blow out of the Warriors (143-113) scoring 10 points. He had 8 assists and obviously was very productive. A few games earlier he had 10 points in 32 minutes in a lackluster performance against Toronto.
Things to tell your buddies as you are watching the game
- Why didn’t Kyrie get suspended by the NBA along with the team suspension he got from the Nets? Only you and your buddy can figure it out. Go!
- Brooklyn has the highest team field goal percentage in the NBA. (50.4%)
- It is always worth remembering game seven of the Nets playoffs series in June of 2021. Clink glasses and be thankful that Durant has such a big foot (size 18) and that shot only counted as a two. What a game!
- The Bucks do not have high overall picks. The Nets certainly do. Kevin Durant was a number two overall pick. Ben Simmons went number one overall; so did Kyrie Irving. By comparison, the Bucks have no #1 overall picks. The highest draft position of a Bucks rostered player is Brook Lopez (10th overall) in 2008- selected by the New Jersey Nets. Burn!