Brooklyn Nets vs. Milwaukee Bucks.
New York City. Barclays Center Arena. 20.06.2021.
The series between Brooklyn and Milwaukee has been the toughest in the 2nd round of the NBA playoffs, and even the bookmakers in Game 7 cannot give a definite preference to anyone. The home team's odds are slightly higher - which way will the scales tip?
Brooklyn current form
In the first minute of the series against Milwaukee, Brooklyn started playing without one of its stars. James Harden has more or less recovered, but Kyrie Irving is out for the night. He won't be on the floor in the final game. Kevin Durant even in Kyrie's absence won the home game for his team, producing one of the best individual performances in history: his triple-double record of 49 points, 17 rebounds, and 10 assists in Game 5. The good news is that Jeff Green is back and with him, in the rotation, the coach has more options at the center position although the Nets still lack a big man. Brooklyn's defense is good in some games, and they don't even allow much out of the paint. On offense, they rely heavily on three-pointers, but lately, the team has slipped to fifth place in three-point percentage from beyond the arc.
Last game against Milwaukee, Brooklyn missed again, but that wasn't the key factor. The opponents had worse shooting and were more or less evenly matched in the paint, but their shot attempts left a lot to be desired as the Nets scored just 2 points and made 11 steals. Joe Harris made only 1 of 4 threes, while Jeff Green and Blake Griffin had a similar number. The final score was 89-104 in favor of the Bucks. Compared to game 5, James Harden has improved but still wasn't very noticeable. Kevin Durant had 32 points on 15 of 30 from the game and 2 of 8 from the three-point line.
Milwaukee current form
The Bucks haven't been very consistent in the current series, but they've managed to tie the game twice so far. There have been some bad games for Chris Middleton, but overall he's been great these playoffs. Middleton is averaging 23.3 points on 38.9 three-pointers. Jrue Holiday is not as bright on offense and has been more useful on defense so far. P.J. Tucker has gotten more playing time since Donte DiVincenzo's injury, and he's often out at the heavy forward position, pushing Giannis to the three. Sniper support has been severely lacking of late, and that same Bryn Forbes has given up a lot. In some games, the Bucks have been dominant in the paint, while playing as tough as possible under the basket.
Last game, Milwaukee shifted up a bit and
Giannis Antetokounmpo didn't shoot from beyond the arc for the first time in the playoffs. The Greek also missed mid-range attempts, but he made up for it with shots from the paint. Giannis led all scorers with 30 points. Jrue Holiday again failed to do his best, hitting just 1 of 10 three-pointers, while Chris Middleton was unstoppable: with 38 points he was the most productive player on the floor. One of the key factors was fast Middleton and Holiday combined for 9 of the team's 12 steals which also made a difference.
Experts betting tips
Brooklyn has a lot of weaknesses, and the main vulnerability is the lack of a reliable center. Nonetheless, the team has been doing quite well over the course of the series, and right now the Nets have plenty of room for improvement. The team is capable of better shooting from beyond the arc: Joe Harris, for example, is bound to improve. James Harden is slowly gaining his form and it will be difficult to defend against him in isolation. Milwaukee has rotation problems, Tucker and Forbes are unstable on offense, and Thanasis Adetokunbo and Elijah Bryant are incapable of playing at the playoff level. Brooklyn has consistently pulled home games, and will pull them out now. I suggest we bet on the following outcomes:
- Victory for Brooklyn for 1.795.
- Total over 216 points for 1.91
- James Harden: Total over 18.5 points with odds. 1.70