NBA Playoff Picks - Bucks vs. Nets
This might as well go down as “Milwaukee Bucks vs Kevin Durant” in your programs because that’s what it’s going to come down to.
No Kyrie Irving. No James Harden. The Big Three is down to a Big One, but the “one” is the most dangerous scorer of his generation when he’s feeling right, and it’s tough to look at KD right now as anything other than at his apex.
That said, we saw how things went for the Nets after Kyrie went down on Sunday afternoon, as a four-point deficit eventually became an 11-point loss, but even that margin belittles how well the Bucks were able to handle Brooklyn with only one star to worry about, as Milwaukee raced to a 16-point lead in the middle of the third quarter.
But the Bucks still have their issues, specifically on the offensive end. Over the course of this series, Milwaukee has just a 97.2 offensive rating. The next lowest figure among teams in the second round is Brooklyn at 105.0 – a massive gap that emphasizes just how difficult it’s been for Giannis & Co. to find any sort of consistency.
Even so, if you go by the on/off data, Kyrie Irving has kept the Nets afloat more than anyone. In the 107 minutes he’s been off the court in these playoffs, Brooklyn is getting outscored by 6.9 points per 100 possessions. Harden was their fail safe for having ample playmaking if Irving went down, and without him, the Nets will need to rely on the likes of Mike James and Bruce Brown to run the offense.
Giving the points and picking the Bucks, on the road, against an all-time great player in a must-win game…it all feels wrong. But KD is one guy, and the fact that this line is as low as it is is the ultimate sign of respect for Durant. But even he can’t do it by himself.
Bucks vs. Nets Pick
The Pick: Bucks -4 @ -115
Expert Bucks vs. Nets Predictions
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