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Nets and Bucks end the month at Barclays

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NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Utah Jazz Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Do what you gotta. On Tuesday night, the Brooklyn Nets played host to the Detroit Pistons at Barclays Center. The Nets did their usual fall behind by a bunch routine, but also did their usual clean up act in the second half and came away with an important victory. They're still in eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings, but are only up 0.5 games after the Charlotte Hornets beat the New York Knicks on Wednesday night.

The opponent tonight will be the Milwaukee Bucks. The champs have been biding their time and hope they can start rounding into form as we draw closer to the playoffs. They took on the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night, and came away with a two point win over their rivals. The Bucks don’t have time to rest long as they’ve got a home date with the Los Angeles Clippers tomorrow night.

And with the Knicks loss to the Hornets Wednesday night, the post-season is set and the Nets have clinched a play-in spot. Currently, they are eighth, a half-game ahead of the Hornets (who own the tiebreaker) and two games behind the Cavaliers who lost to the Mavs Wednesday but held an impromptu reunion of a very special team...

Where to follow the game

YES Network for the locals, TNT for the rest of y'all. WFAN on radio. Tip after 7:30 p.m.

Injuries

No Joe Harris or Ben Simmons.

Our old friend DeAndre Bembry is out for the season after undergoing knee surgery. Giannis Antetokuonmpo is probable with right knee soreness.

The game

Milwaukee took game one in October and game two in January while Brooklyn snagged game three in February.

The last time Kyrie Irving saw the Bucks in Barclays Center, he was helping open up a can of whoop ass that had the Bucks as down as 49 points. The Bucks are hoping for a better night this time around and will try to throw a few curveballs at Irving. For Irving, he's hoping tonight will be the night where he regains his shooting touch. He's been under 40 percent from the field in each of the past three games, but on the bright side, he did go 4-8 from three point range on Tuesday. The Nets need Irving to regain his shot and in a hurry so they can move up in the standings.

Looking to make life hard on Irving will be Jrue Holiday. Holiday had a pretty rough go of it last time he saw Brooklyn as he turned it over seven times and missed some key free throws late. Despite that, he’s been his usual solid self and is shooting a career best 41.4 percent from three point range.

Brooklyn’s three point shooting has been down in the dumps the past two games, so they might make it more of a point to attack the basket tonight. Since the All Star break, Milwaukee has allowed teams to shoot 69.1 percent on shots inside of the restricted area, third highest in the NBA. When the Nets are at the best, they are using the whole court to create open looks for themselves. If Brooklyn can get out in transition early, they can get easier looks and get the crowd into it.

This one’s gonna be fast. The Bucks are second in pace post All Star break and the Nets have made it a point to play with more pace. Should be an exciting contest.

The Brigade will be in full effect tonight, and shouts to the Brooklyn 3!

Crazy as it sounds, Giannis Antetokuonmpo is still kinda slept on. Mans is a two time MVP, reigning NBA Finals MVP, and might wind up snagging his third MVP award if things break right for him. Antetokuonmpo does everything for the Bucks and will look to bulldoze the Nets on the inside. And on a somewhat related note, I’m a few chapters into Mirin Fader’s book about Giannis, and it is incredible. Go cop it.

As Kevin Durant goes, so goes the Nets. KD got to work on Tuesday and dropped 41 points on the way to victory. KD got this three point stroke back in gear on Tuesday and continued his mastery of the mid post. Durant is impossible to stop so the Bucks hope to play physical and try to get him off his game. He missed the last Bucks matchup so it’ll be interesting to see how Mike Budenholzer and the Bucks staff adjust to the challenge.

Player to watch: Brook Lopez

It’s been a long way back for old friend. Lopez has missed most of the season as he suffered a back injury on Opening Night against Brooklyn. He recently returned to action on March 14 against the Utah Jazz and has typically played over 20 minutes a night since getting back and played 29 minutes on Tuesday. He should be around that mark tonight and Net nemesis Bobby Portis will back him up. Both bigs can kill teams from deep and in the last game, the Nets let Portis make a killing on wide open three pointers. Steve Nash and the Nets staff will look to make their adjustments and make life tough on the big guys.

Andre Drummond will be first up to go against the Big Disney. Drummond has steadily improved in each game with the Nets and is a key part of their plans for the stretch run. Backing him up will be Nic Claxton. The team did right by themselves when they didn’t trade him at the deadline, and he’s been a spark plug coming off of the bench for the Nets. He does a lot of things well and with the matchup problems the Bucks give teams, having a big like Claxton is essential for nights like this.

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