It was an all-time great playoff performance from the Brooklyn Nets. In a game most expected to be hard-fought, the Nets absolutely destroyed the Milwaukee Bucks, 125-86. The 39-point blowout is the most commanding win the Nets have ever had in their postseason history. Brooklyn was up by as much as 49 points in this one as well. The Nets previous record for largest playoff win was 24 against the Knicks in 2004.
The game is way too easy for Kevin Durant. KD once again had an insanely efficient offensive performance, scoring 32 points on 67% shooting. (4/6 from three) Durant also stuffed the stat-line with 6 assists, 4 rebounds, 1 block, and 1 steal. Durant so far in the postseason is averaging 32 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 2 blocks on 55/50/91.1% shooting… Can we say the best player in the NBA?
Kyrie Irving had his usual terrific performance dropping 22 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds on 53% shooting. (4/8 from three) Blake Griffin decided to fly again, throwing down multiple highlight jams, including one on Giannis Antetokounmpo. Joe Harris and Landry Shamet knocked down their threes, Bruce Brown grabbed multiple offensive rebounds, and the bench put up 38 points. Everything went right for Brooklyn in this one.
The Nets as a team were lights-out from the field. 21 three-pointers and 52.1/50/85.7% shooting will get it done every time. It’s just incredible to watch this team score the basketball. The shooting prowess and amazing ball movement just keep you glued to the game. You can’t stop watching it.
Defense Better than Expected
Going into this series, many expected the Nets to get pummeled in the paint due to Milwaukee’s size advantage. While that is still a concern going forward, you have to be impressed with Brooklyn’s defensive effort so far. The Bucks could not get into any offensive rhythm, shooting an underwhelming 44% from the field and 29.6% from three. A big factor to why Brooklyn has been solid defensively so far has been the effort of Blake Griffin. It’s been inspiring if we’re being completely honest. The label that he once had as a poor defender is quickly disappearing.
Griffin, along with Durant, and Nicolas Claxton locked up Giannis tonight to only 18 points. While the Nets may not have an advantage when it comes to size, they can beat you with their on-ball pressure. The Nets forced Milwaukee into 16 turnovers, which included 8 steals for Brooklyn. If the Nets can force their opponent into more turnovers and keep it close on the rebounding numbers, they can beat anybody. Especially with their offense being nearly unstoppable.
What’s Next for the Nets
The Nets will have 2 days off before heading to Milwaukee for game 3 on Thursday. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN with tip-off scheduled for 7:30 PM EST. It is still unclear when James Harden will be making his return, but Jeff Green could potentially be returning soon. Green’s size will be a necessity for Brooklyn going forward. Expect game 3 to be closer considering Milwaukee does not want to go down 3-0.