The Milwaukee Bucks and the Brooklyn Nets get set to square off in what should be the most competitive series of the second round. Milwaukee took the season series 2-1, which may be a bit misleading because the Nets weren’t at full strength for any of those games. Both teams looked great in the first round and this will be a may the best man win type of series that certainly has potential to go the distance. Let’s continue our NBA odds series and make a Bucks Nets prediction and pick.
Here are the odds from FanDuel:
Bucks-Nets Series Odds (Updated 6/16)
Bucks-Nets Series Winner
Milwaukee Bucks (+198)
Brooklyn Nets (-240)
Bucks-Nets Series Schedule
Game 1: MIL 107-115 BKN
Game 2: MIL 86-125 BKN
Game 3: BKN 83-86 MIL
Game 4: BKN 96-107 MIL
Game 5: MIL 108-114 BKN
Game 6: BKN 89-104 MIL
Game 7: MIL 115-111 BKN
No. 2 Brooklyn Nets
The Brooklyn Nets showed in the first round that when Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden are all on the court together, this team is deadly. They shot at a ridiculous rate from deep and seemed to play very well off of each other. The big three averaged a whopping 85.2 points per game during the first round and showed a willingness to play unselfish basketball. They were truly riding the hot hand through the whole series.
The importance of James Harden can’t be underestimated. Since coming over to the Nets via trade, Harden has embraced the role as the point guard on this team, which is all that they were missing heading into the season. Kyrie Irving has stepped into the shooting guard role and has been a scoring machine since doing so. Kevin Durant rounds it out with an elite level of offense and an ability to anchor the defense. With elite shooters like Joe Harris and Landry Shamet, this team has all of the tools to get past the Bucks and role to the NBA Finals.
No. 3 Milwaukee Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks were almost certainly the best team in the first round. They led the league in offensive efficiency this season and continued that success as they averaged 115 points per game during their four-game sweep of the Miami Heat. Miami had been on a tear to end the season and Milwaukee made them look awful. The Bucks played the best defense of the first round, which is very promising for a team that didn’t play very well on that end of the floor this season. Brooklyn really struggles on that end, which is why Milwaukee may actually have the edge in this series.
With all of the talk surrounding the Nets big three, many have forgotten about the fact that the Bucks arguably have the best player in this series in Giannis Antetokounmpo. Giannis absolutely dominated the first round series against Miami and with Jrue Holiday and Kris Middleton by his side, this Bucks team has the tools to knock off a juggernaut Nets club. Milwaukee will counter Brooklyn’s outside shooting with one of the best long-range attacks in the league and if they can continue their defensive dominance, Milwaukee should be able to steal home court advantage and the series from the Nets.
Bucks-Nets Series Prediction and Pick
Although the Bucks were the better team in the first round of the playoffs, Brooklyn seems to be the best team in the entire NBA. It all lies on the offensive end, but this team has the looks of one of the best offensive teams in NBA history. The big three shot the lights out in the first round and averaged over 80 points per game. With that sort of production at the top, there won’t be much that the Bucks can do to stop them. Milwaukee went through some serious struggles through periods of the regular season and are more susceptible to lapses in play for stretches.
FINAL BUCKS-NETS PREDICTION AND PICK
Bucks-Nets Series Winner: Brooklyn Nets (-196)
Bucks-Nets Series Spread: Brooklyn Nets -1.5 (+110)