Brooklyn Nets vs. Milwaukee Bucks – NBA, June 17, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| June 17, 2021 9:08 am PDT

The Milwaukee Bucks host the Brooklyn Nets at the Fiserv Forum tonight, knowing nothing but a win will do. The Nets took a 3-2 lead in game five, as I predicted a couple of days ago, and they will be hoping to break the sequence of the home team winning each match in the series. However, that won’t be easy as the home team has won the last eight games between these two.

This tie could have had a very different look after game five if it weren’t for the heroics of Kevin Durant, who inspired his team to get up off the floor. It was almost like watching Tyson Fury get up off the canvas after being brutally knocked down by Wilder.

The Bucks led by 14 after the first quarter and 16 at halftime. At that point, it seemed like they would be the ones taking the lead in the series. But the Nets had other ideas, and they drew on all their experience to pull themselves back from the brink and, in the end, won pretty comfortably.

After the game, Antetokounmpo highlighted that he would like to guard Durant in game six, but I believe this would subtract from the Bucks offense and be a big mistake.

There are so many things to answer here going into this one tonight. Like, how much have the Nets got left in the tank after giving it their all to fight back? How will the Bucks respond to losing such a big lead and being so close to taking the lead in the tie?

Let me try and answer those questions for you, and we will start by looking at the odds for game six.

Nets vs. Bucks Odds for Game Six

Nets +5.5-110
Bucks -5.5-110
Nets To Win+190
Bucks To Win-220
Over 220 Points-110
Under 220 Points-110

I’m amazed the bookmakers haven’t learned their lesson from game five, and they have increased the handicap given to the Nets to a total more extensive than any in the series.

Yes, the Bucks are back in Milwaukee, where they have won both games in the series. You could argue it took a superman like performance from Kevin Durant to see the Nets over the line, but come on, this is the Brooklyn Nets we are talking about here.

The points total has again been lowered for the sixth game in a row between these two, and you have to feel now is the time for the total to go over finally.

Brooklyn Nets Are on the Brink

The Nets are on the brink of reaching the Eastern Conference Finals, and I believe they will want to finish the job tonight. I think this for three reasons, and they all relate to fatigue.

  • They will hope to win and the other semi-final to game into a seventh game to get extra rest.
  • At the same time, it will give their injured players a chance to recover.
  • The Nets won’t want a game seven as you would have to fancy the younger, fitter team.

So what did we learn about the Nets in game five?

First, it was clear they had the intention to focus their attack down the middle and kept the game played centrally. They probably did this to keep things right and not get overstretched. By doing this, they slowed the game right down and dictated the pace. This is reflected in the fact there were only four points scored on the break all night long. They also rotated things well and kept the team fresh as they managed to score 19-points more than the Bucks from the bench.

Although the Nets lost their previous game six encounter back in 2015 against the Hawks, they did win the three matches before that one.

Here are the latest betting trends for Brooklyn:

Bet Type Trend
ATS They have won 13 of their last 15 matches.
Total Five of their previous six games have gone under the betting total.
SU Brooklyn is 12-3 in their last 15 matches.
ATS They have only lost one of their previous five games against the Bucks.
SU The Nets have won seven and lost 13 of their last 20 matches with Milwaukee.
Total The total has gone under in eight of their previous 12 away fixtures.
Total Only one of their last five visits to Milwaukee has failed to go under the points total.
SU They have won six of their previous eight games against teams from the Central Division.

The Nets have continued to shoot well throughout the series and the playoffs in general, especially from the three-point range and the free-throw line.

Their offensive rebounding remains a problem for them, and if anything, is getting worse. However, they don’t have that trouble at the other end of the court, and therefore it has to be the way their offense is set up.

Regardless they are still averaging a very healthy 115-points per game, which should give them a decent chance most nights.

They have arguably passed the ball better than any other team in the playoffs so far, which is reflected in their high number of assists and the low number of turnovers.

The Nets are also doing the business at the other end of the court, meaning they are a very well-rounded team and have minimal weaknesses to their game.

Brooklyn will be boosted tonight by the continued return of James Harden; however, they will miss Irving and Dinwiddie.

Are the Bucks Beat?

You have to feel the Bucks will be reeling after leading for 90% of game five; this begs the question, are they a beaten team? This game will show what kind of team they are this season. Will they wave the white flag like a beaten platoon, or will they fight back like a wounded animal? What can we take from game five to answer these questions?

Well, they scored 52 points inside the paint and dominated this area. However, they became predictable, and the Nets managed to stop them later on in the game.

They focus their attack through the center, and I would like to see this change tonight; I want to see them stretch the Nets more.

They’re not moving the ball around the court quickly enough for me, which needs to improve tonight.

Game six has not been kind to the Bucks as they have lost their previous six matches. A run that started against the Nets when they lost the series 4-2 against them. Can lightning strike twice tonight?

Here are the latest betting trends for Milwaukee:

Bet Type Trend
SU Milwaukee is 14-5 in their previous 19 matches.
Total Six of their last seven games against the Nets have gone under the betting total.
SU The Bucks have won their previous 12 home matches in a row.

The Bucks are failing where the Nets are excelling, which has been the difference between the teams so far. Their three-point shooting has been abysmal, as has their shooting from the free-throw line. They need to follow Brook Lopez’s example in game five, as he made three of his five three-point attempts.

However, they are undoubtedly winning the rebounding battle, which gives them something to build upon.

I said earlier I would like them to move the ball around the court quicker, and while I still believe this, they will have to be mindful of the high number of turnovers they are making. Although if they move the ball quicker, they won’t be forced to make difficult passes as the shot clock runs down, and therefore this could help lower their turnover count.

They have remained disciplined throughout the series, and while the temptation might be to take an aggressive approach tonight, given the circumstances, I wouldn’t change this area of their game. Especially when you see how well the Nets are shooting from the free-throw line.

The biggest compliment I can give the Bucks is they’re still in this tie, and they have plenty of room for improvement, whereas the Nets are near enough playing at full capacity, albeit missing a few players.

Milwaukee will miss Di Vincenzo tonight, and Nwora is listed as questionable to feature.

My Picks for Nets vs. Bucks Game Six

Another day, another intriguing NBA playoff encounter. The big question here is, can the Bucks bounce back?

My answer is yes, long-term, and no short-term. By that, I mean yes, they will bounce back and return to the playoffs another day and be better equipped to deal with these tight encounters, but I think they won’t have the experience to help them here. The Nets will be going all out for the win tonight, and there is no better team in the NBA at finishing a team off when they are on the ropes.

While I believe the Nets will win and wrap the tie-up, there is always that niggling doubt in my head when I look at the Bucks’ formidable home record, and therefore, the safe play is to take the Nets with the handicap.

Pick
  • Nets +5.5
    -110

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