Oh boy, it is finally here.
The Brooklyn Nets versus the Milwaukee Bucks, and this is going to be a series.

With the Lakers eliminated by the Suns, the Clippers on the brink of another collapse, this series might be the biggest heavy-weight battle of these playoffs.

This series is filled with All-Star talent, and with both teams having two of the best big three in the league, this could end up as an instant classic.

Both teams have built their teams in different ways.

The Nets signed Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving two seasons ago and traded away their young, exciting core to go all-in for James Harden in the middle of this season.

The Bucks took a gamble on drafting Giannis Antetokounmpo, who emerged into a two-time MVP. Khris Middleton was a second-round pick who found his way to Milwaukee as a thrown-in-a-trade and has evolved into an All-Star caliber player.

After facing two devastating losses in the playoffs over the last two seasons, the Bucks organization knew they needed another piece. They found that in Jrue Holiday, one of the most undertreated players in the NBA, and has elevated this team offensively and defensively.

This series perfectly represent two sides of the big market vs. small market philosophy, and this narrative has made this series even more intriguing.

Almost set up as a good versus evil, with the Nets as the villain with its super-team built overnight, while the Bucks are the heroes, who have waited and bided their time waiting to come out champions.

The biggest match-up in this series is pretty much who will stop who on the defensive end. The Nets have one of the best offenses in history, led by three of the best scorers in NBA history. On the other hand, the Bucks play an insane team basketball offense, finding open shooters and creating easy shots for everyone. The big difference between the two teams in the Bucks’ advantage on the defensive end and the boards, with their height playing a significant role in both. However, the Nets offense is so good that it can overshadow it all and led the Nest to victory.

The Nets’ offense feeds into every aspect of their game. If Durant, Harden, and Irving are carving up your defense, you need to be able to go bucket for bucket with them to stay in the game. It will be crucial for the Nets to get off to hot starts in these games because they need to force the Bucks into the shootout, in which the Nets have the advantage. Look for the Nets to get Joe Harris involved early in games, as they did in Game 2 against the Boston Celtics. If Harris is knocking down shots, it opens so much space for the Nets big three to operate.

The Bucks have the scoring to do so, averaging 118 points per game in the playoffs and 120 points per game in the regular season. The Bucks can keep up for the most part, but if the Nets come out hot and keep the foot on the gas every game, it could force the Bucks to play out of character, possibly forcing bad shots, making up for the Nets poor defense.

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The Bucks have the height advantage and defensive advantage and will try to slow down the Nets. The Bucks could play a half-court style of offense, attacking the Nets’ heavy switch defense to find favorable matchups for Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez. This could force the Nets to play a physical style of basketball that they are not built for, forcing them off their game. On defense, P.J. Tucker, a mid-season trade, will most likely guard Durant while Holiday and Middleton are tasked with taking on the Nets guards. On top of that, Antetokounmpo and Lopez are proven rim protectors, just adding to the defensive talent on this Bucks team.


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However, Lopez might quickly run off the court by the heavy pick and roll to an isolation offense that the Nets love to run with Harden and Irving. Suppose the Nets attack matches up early. In that case, it could prove positive on both ends of the floor, as on defense, the Nets will not need to worry about the Bucks using Lopez size to get easy post-up buckets and to slow the game down.

Then on offense, the Nets could take out the Bucks’ primary rim protector, hopefully opening more driving lanes.

This series can go either way, but for the Nets to win, their offense needs to be the driving force. When it’s on, the offense affects every aspect of the game and puts opposing teams in a tough predicament.
The Nets lost close back-to-back games against the Bucks in the regular season, but Harden sat out with an injury, and he could prove to be the difference-maker in this series.

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