Saturday at 6:30 pm. Bucks no longer have home court, so this series starts in the Barclays Center.
Bucks are the better defensive team, have more size, and the best scoring offense in the NBA. The Bucks split the season series, and in both cases they did not play Brooklyn with their full lineup in tact. Historically the Bucks have not had huge trouble defending Harden or Irving, but KD is another story, and all three they have never faced.
I think it’s foolish to say that anyone can “shut down” these three. I really don’t think that’s the key to the series. These are three of best offensive players of the last 25 years, so it’s important to give them their due. I think the Bucks are best served playing straight up on all 5 guys. Do not allow Harden to pass the ball to open shooters. Make this a one on one battle top to bottom- offer no help. The Nets thrive when they’re able to pass to wide open shooters. But when they miss- own the rebounds. The Bucks turned the page on Miami by delivering one of the most dominant rebounding performances in recent memory. Both teams missed a lot- the Bucks simply dominated on the boards. That’s the advantage they must press- own the paint and the glass.
Don’t expect the Bucks to emerge in this series. Then officials will favor the stars. The NBA sure as hell does not want a Utah/Milwaukee finals. The biggest impact of the Nets trio of superstars may have on the series is likely the way the officials will favor them. Straight up this series probably favors the Bucks. I don’t think it’ll be straight up at all. But I do think it goes 7 games...