Well, Game 1 against the Bucks went mostly as planned. Yes, James Harden missed 99% of the game with a hamstring injury and is out for Game 2; but, the Nets without Harden beat the Bucks wire to wire with little to no hiccups along the way.
Not having Harden definitely poses a challenge for the Nets, but they’re far from being “in a hole.” This team even without Harden is arguably the best team in the East.
So while it sucks not having Harden, these Nets still are considered the favorites in this series. Just keep winning.
Join us after the game on Clubhouse for a live conversation, win or lose!
“Nets Bucks Game 2 - What if Bucks Hit Their 3’s?” with @Furnace17, @matt_fein, @portstnique, @maliikawalkerw1, @MattBrooksNBA, @TomLorenzo, @CMilholenSB, @Kabanja, @busyxb, @brotherfuture94, @Dmed5, Ron Pdot. Tonight at 10:15 PM on @clubhouse. Join us! https://t.co/J6VqEI63DM— NetsDaily (@NetsDaily) June 7, 2021
WHEN: 7:30 PM EST
WHERE: TNT (tv), WFAN (radio)
Game ball goes to the big guy. Yes Blake Griffin had 18 points and 14 rebounds (a playoff career high!), but the energy and passion he played with stood out the most. He was diving for loose balls, playing with force on the inside, and provided some spark and toughness to fire up an already excited Barclays Center crowd. For all the talk of the Nets being a glamour team thanks to the Big Three, guys like Griffin and Bruce Brown are scrappy as hell and give the team some grit and tenacity on the court.
This has been a criticism of Mike Budenholzer for as long as I can remember, but seriously, you need to ride your ace when it’s winning time. I can’t think of any sensical reason as to why Giannis Antetokuonmpo only played 35 minutes on Saturday night. Outside of his free throws (nice touch by the Nets to put the timer on his attempts), he had a pretty good game with 34 points and 11 rebounds. He was most effective rumbling towards the rim as 13 of his 16 field goal makes came from inside the free throw line. The Nets did contest his threes, but they’re more than willing to let him have those if he wants them. Rather that then seeing him drive downhill every time.
The Bucks did a ton of damage on the inside, so it’s interesting that they went away from what appeared to be working. Lopez was giving the Nets trouble at the rim, but he only got 11 shot attempts. Milwaukee won the rebound battle by 11 and took 10 more free throws than Brooklyn, but they were a ghastly 6-30 from deep.
For more on the Bucks, check out Brew Hoop.