To say Game 2 didn’t go as expected for the Milwaukee Bucks is a massive understatement. Not only did they get blown out by 39 points to the Brooklyn Nets, the Bucks also failed to capitalize while their opponent was without James Harden for a second consecutive game. While this may have more to do with the amount of talent that stretches from top to bottom on Brooklyn’s roster, it also shows a lack of preparedness on Milwaukee’s part to lose that badly.
As the series shifts to Milwaukee, the Bucks will need to make some adjustments on both ends of the floor to get back in this series before it gets even more out of hand. Ahead of Game 3, here’s everything you need to know:
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(2) Brooklyn Nets vs. (3) Milwaukee Bucks
- Date: Thursday, June 10 | Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Fiserv Forum — Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- TV: ESPN | Live stream: WatchESPN
- Odds: MIL: -165 | BKN: +145 | O/U: 234 (William Hill Sportsbook)
Featured Game | Milwaukee Bucks vs. Brooklyn Nets
Nets: The first two games of this series couldn’t have gone any better for the Nets, who are still without Harden for Game 3. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving combined for 54 points, while Joe Harris and Bruce Brown tacked on 13 points apiece in the rout over the Bucks. The key going forward for Brooklyn is maintaining that production outside of Durant and Irving, because Milwaukee is sure to make adjustments heading into Game 3, as well as hoping that Harden’s injury won’t keep him out for much longer. While Durant and Irving could be enough to get the Nets past Milwaukee, having Harden at full strength would absolutely put them over the edge.
Bucks: Milwaukee should feel comfort in knowing the Clippers came back and won their first-round series in seven games after digging out of a 2-0 hole. However, the Nets aren’t the Mavericks and Kawhi Leonard isn’t walking through the door anytime soon to drop 40-plus points to get a win. While theoretically the Bucks still have a chance to win the series, that path to success has a lot more dead ends now, especially considering they aren’t losing these games particularly close. Perhaps playing at home will help ignite a fire under this team to take a win or two at home before heading back to Brooklyn, but Milwaukee should be concerned right now.
While I don’t think the Bucks win this series, I do think they’ll win Game 3 after two poor showings in the first two games. They will need Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton to keep pace with Brooklyn’s stars, as well as a more stringent defense to not allow role players on the Nets to pop off. Ultimately though, I think Milwaukee finds a way. Pick: Bucks -3.5