The Brooklyn Nets will officially face the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round of the 2021 NBA playoffs after eliminating the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)
- The Nets defeated the Celtics to advance to the 2nd round on Tuesday night, while the Bucks wrapped up their series with Miami on the weekend
- KD, Kyrie & James Harden’s squad have opened as -190 favorites for the Eastern Conference semifinal series
- Find the opening odds for the series, as well as an early look at the matchup below
The stage is set in one of the East semifinals after the Brooklyn Nets officially took care of the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night to win the series 3-1. Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks now await them after they swept the Miami Heat in the first round over the weekend.
Brooklyn opens as a slim favorite against the Bucks, with the date for Game 1 on Saturday, June 5th. However, both teams will have some time off to regroup before what should be one of the most entertaining matchups of the playoffs yet.
Nets vs Bucks Series Odds
|Team||Odds to Win Series at DraftKings|
Odds as of June 2nd
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Big 3 Thriving
There were obviously lots of doubts as to how the superstar trio of Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving would fare after barely playing together all season long. While the Celtics never posed much of a threat to the Nets, the Big 3 impressed and found some much-needed comradery.
KD was scoring at will through the first five appearances of the playoffs. He is currently averaging 34.8 points per night, which is first among all players in the postseason. As for Irving and Harden, they’re both dropping well over 20 per game, with the Beard continuing to facilitate at a high level with 10.8 dimes.
What’s also been impressive from Steve Nash’s team is their 42.6% clip from downtown. While Brooklyn is one of the better shooting teams in the league anyway, it was good to see them finding a groove from long range on the big stage because it’s a key part of their offense. Sharpshooter Joe Harris especially thrived, sinking a ridiculous 53.6% of his attempts.
Bucks Looked Scary
Milwaukee had a statement to make against Miami, who shockingly knocked them out of the playoffs in Orlando last year. Antetokounmpo and the Bucks had revenge on their minds and you better believe they went to work.
Mike Budenholzer’s squad outscored the Heat by 82 points through just four contests, even blowing out last season’s NBA finalists by 34 in Game 2. Giannis was dominant, putting up 23.5 points, 7.8 assists, and 15 rebounds in the series.
But, this very well-rounded Milwaukee team all played their part. The Bucks had six different players average double-digits in points and the rotation did a good job as a whole to shut down a respectable Miami offense. It was a good test, but the Greek Freak and co. will have their work cut out for them against the star-studded Nets who have countless scoring weapons.
Honestly, Milwaukee looked better. They steamrolled the Heat with ease and were fundamentally sound on both ends of the court. The Nets are always electric offensively, but they did drop Game 3 to the C’s after Jayson Tatum erupted for 50. Their defense has never been a strength and it wasn’t necessarily anything to write home about in the first round.
However, it’s hard to bet against three All-Stars who combined have played 34 seasons in the league and captured numerous accolades along the way. The odds won’t likely change much ahead of the series opener, but I do think this is going to be an absolute dogfight. Both teams will be tested, but Brooklyn will come out on top in seven games as they continue to chase an NBA championship.
Pick: Brooklyn Nets -190
Quinn Allen is a sports journalist, with a background and education in broadcast journalism (BCIT ’17). He writes about European Football, Basketball, and Baseball for numerous sites across the globe.