Brooklyn Nets at Milwaukee Bucks Preview
The Milwaukee Bucks have clinched the Eastern Conference and homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs with just three games remaining on their docket before the playoffs. They could be looking at their first-round playoff opponent today as they face off against the Brooklyn Nets.
The Bucks are 59-20 and really have no reason to do much in their last three games aside from reaching the 60-win mark. They have won their last two games and are 7-3 in their last 10 games. The Brooklyn Nets have been leapfrogged in the Eastern Conference standings by the Orlando Magic, who were on the outside looking in just a few games ago. The Nets would love to get some rest in their last three games, but they are in a tie for seventh in the East with the Miami Heat right on their toes trying to get a playoff spot. Brooklyn is 39-40, have lost their last two and are 3-7 in their last 10 games.
In their last matchup just days ago on April 1, Milwaukee won 131-121. Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe led the Bucks with 29 points and seven assists. D’Angelo Russell paced the Nets with 28 points.
Time: 5:00pm ET
Arena: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI
Channel: NBA TV
Brooklyn Nets Starting Lineup
At this point of the season, the Brooklyn Nets can smell the NBA playoffs. An unlikely bunch of players led by a quasi-superstar at best and pieced together by a coach and GM that have been working tooth and nail to build the right foundation could actually reach the postseason.
But it’s not all smooth sailing. The Nets have some work to do with their final three games to avoid being the team that was there all season and lost it at the end.
“In a lot of ways, we control our destiny,” Brooklyn guard Spencer Dinwiddie said recently. “This isn’t a situation where even if we win, we’ve still got to watch the scores and hope for this team or that team to lose. Our body of work has put us in a position to where, if we win games, we’ll be fine.”
The Nets don’t have the easiest schedule to end the season as they take on the Bucks today, then have a back-to-back with another playoff team in the Indiana Pacers tomorrow, and finish off against the Miami Heat on Wednesday, who will likely also be scratching and clawing to get back into the playoff picture. If that doesn’t give you any empathy, also consider the Nets just played the Bucks days ago and had to also take on the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.
The Nets had a slow start which hurt them throughout the rest of the game. Russell led the Nets with 27 points, and Dinwiddie had 14 points off the bench. The Nets will really need more from Joe Harris on offense tonight, and DeMarre Carroll will have his hands full with Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Milwaukee Bucks Starting Lineup
Just a few years ago, Giannis Antetokounmpo was a rookie on a team that had just 15 total wins. In a short amount of time, the Bucks have added some key pieces and have made a dramatic switch to where they now lead the league with the best record and will have home court through to the NBA Finals, granted they make it there.
“I mean, it’s very important,” Milwaukee guard George Hill said. “As a ballclub, you want to have home-court advantage throughout the playoffs and things like that, but I think it’s more important to keep a rhythm while getting healthy at the same time.”
The Bucks have played well to close out the season, even after losing Malcolm Brogdon. Some of that credit is due to veteran backup guard George Hill. Hill didn’t have the easiest transition after his trade to the Bucks, playing inconsistent minutes, trying to carve out a role, struggling at times and then suffering from his own injury. Hill has scored 18-plus points in his last three games.
In the Bucks 128-122 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night, they were led by Giannis, who made another case for MVP consideration with 45 points, 13 rebounds, and six assists. Khris Middleton added 22 points, Hill had 20 and Sterling Brown scored 12.
Brooklyn Nets at Milwaukee Bucks Betting Odds
The Bucks are six-point favorites to win tonight’s game at home. The Bucks are a league-best 32-6 at home and are 51-17 as the favorite. Brooklyn is 17-22 on the road and 16-35 as the underdog.
The over/under is 236 points, and the Bucks are -260 on the moneyline after opening at -420.
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