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2021 NBA Playoffs: East Conference Semifinals – (2) Brooklyn Nets vs (3) Milwaukee Bucks

East First Round: (2) Brooklyn Nets vs (3) Milwaukee Bucks – Series preview

(2) Brooklyn Nets

 The Brooklyn Nets are coming off a first-round series victory against the Boston Celtics. They defeated the Celtics in a five-game gentleman’s sweep. They dominated the Celtics for four games offensively and defensively. With Boston losing some of their key players including Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker to injury, Brooklyn was able to take complete advantage.

The Nets now look to take their winning ways into the next series against the Milwaukee Bucks. Brooklyn lost the season series 2-1, but the playoffs are much different than the regular season. Brooklyn looks to take advantage of Milwaukee offensively with their big three of Durant, Harden, and Irving. In order to win this series they must step up their defense and they must also make sure their role players get into a rhythm early and often.

Their defense is something that they have not been great at this season because they are typically able to out-talent most teams. Defense is going to be very important in stopping one of the best players in the NBA with Giannis Antetokounmpo. They must also make sure that their shooters including Joe Harris and Landry Shamet get their rhythm going. This will open the floor for the Nets’ big three to dominate.

This series will come down to whether Brooklyn’s offensive weapons will overwhelm the Bucks. The Bucks are more of an experienced team than Brooklyn is. The Nets have had to come together on the fly. Harden, Irving, and Durant have only played eight regular-season games together because of injury and rest. This series will prove whether the team concept or overall offensive talent will win out.   

(3) Milwaukee Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks are coming off a dominant first-round series sweep against the hapless Miami Heat. The Bucks lost their 2nd round series matchup against the Heat in the 2020 playoffs. They showed how new and improved their team is by dominating the Heat. No game in their four-game sweep was close. They are not taking on a star-studded Brooklyn Nets team that was excellent in the regular season despite not having their three best players playing in the lineup for the majority of the season.

Milwaukee took the regular-season series against the Nets 2-1. All three matchups were closely contested games. The largest margin for victory was just six points. In order for Milwaukee to come out of this series victorious, the core players of Jrue Holiday, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Brook Lopez must continue their stellar play. In order to beat Brooklyn, they must force them to play hard defense which is something that they are not known for. For Milwaukee, this series will come down to whether they can weather the storm from the big three and ice out Brooklyn’s supporting class.

Players like Joe Harris and Jeff Green cannot get a rhythm. As good as Brooklyn’s big three are, they cannot win this series on their own. Giannis Antetokounmpo must also continue to prove that he is more than a regular-season wonder. In last year’s playoffs, the Miami Heat defense was able to figure him out. He was able to flip the script this year with his dominance over that same Heat team. The Bucks will go as far as Giannis will take them.

Preview by Baseline Times Intern – Adam Kinberg

Top players to watch

Kevin Durant – First Round vs Boston

  • 32.6 PPG
  • 7.4 RPG
  • 3.0 APG

Giannis Antetokounmpo – First Round vs Miami

  • 23.5 PPG
  • 15.0 RPG
  • 7.8 APG

Where should the money go?

Schedule and Results

Game

Away

Home

Date

Time

TV

Results

Game 1:
BKN leads series 1-0

6/05/21

7:30 PM ET

TNT

Bucks - 107
Nets - 115

Game 2:
BKN leads series 2-0

6/07/21

7:30 PM ET

TNT

Bucks - 86
Nets - 125

Game 3:
BKN leads series 2-1

6/10/21

7:30 PM ET

ESPN

Nets - 83
Bucks - 86

Game 4

6/13/21

3:00 PM ET

ABC

Game 5:
If Necessary

TBD

TBD

TBD

Game 6:
If Necessary

TBD

TBD

TBD

Game 7:
If Necessary

TBD

TBD

TBD

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2021 NBA Playoffs: East First Round – (2) Brooklyn Nets vs (7) Boston Celtics

Daily Staff Picks

East First Round – (2) Brooklyn Nets vs (7) Boston Celtics – Series preview

(2) Brooklyn Nets

I don’t know where to really write to you about what a season the Brooklyn Nets got themselves into. However, I can say it made out all the better for them to this point. First-year Head Coach, Steve Nash and Mike D’Antoni sitting on his bench. Ah, the Head Coach that led James Harden and the Rockets? Yep, the same guy. Let’s get these names out the way next like Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Blake Griffin. There is a lot of hardware and rings gloating around these names.

Here is the thing. I know folks are wary of Brooklyn early on in the playoffs and some of it is just wishful thinking that Brooklyn is very vulnerable. The only thing to me that makes this team vulnerable is the fact of health. But you could literally say that about any other team, right? Well, that’s the point. A healthy Nets team is one that the regular season never saw. Another thing I wouldn’t question? How well KD, Kyrie, and Harden play together. At this point in their careers, the experience and success are a nod to favor them even more.

The Nets had a rotating roster of All-Stars in and out of the season and still secured the 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference. The Nets also managed to finish one game behind the 76ers for the 1st seed and had the 4th best record in the 2020-2021 NBA season.

(7) Boston Celtics

Boston spent Tuesday night tooling around with the Wizards just to prove that Jayson Tatum can help you win ball games without his right-hand man Jaylen Brown. Not that we needed to be proven any further but something about a Play-in Tournament. Anyways, as the 7th seed BEFORE the tournament and after the tournament the Celtics are faced with one of the toughest series one can imagine. The three-headed monster of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden. Should they have swallowed some pride and “tank” for the 8th seed against Philadelphia instead?

Brad Stevens after beating the Wizards said, “It’s really hard to make the NBA playoffs,” Stevens said. “Those guys are the best of the best. Going into that, if I’m a fan, a general fan of the NBA, I have a hard time seeing them lose.” Now your Head Coach is probably being brutally honest but I’m here for it. You know you’re down one of your All-Stars in Jaylen Brown. Stevens understands his team isn’t the best team on paper against Brooklyn.

Do we say Boston takes one or two games? Evan Fournier enters the chat as the next best potential scorer for the Celtics behind their top two available players Tatum and Kemba Walker. The frontcourt for the Celtics features Tatum, Tristian Thompson, Grant Williams, and Aaron Nesmith to potentially slow down the Nets super team. The glaring hole in size for the Celtics and loss of Jaylen Brown makes up for the disappointing year for Boston.



Top players to watch

Jayson Tatum: 2020-2021 season

  • 26.4 PPG
  • 7.4 RPG
  • 4.3 APG

Kevin Durant: 2020-2021 season

  • 26.9 PPG
  • 7.1 RPG
  • 5.6 APG

Where should the money go?

The Brooklyn NETS – in 4

Let’s keep this short and sweet and move on to the next round. I’m hungry for the Giannis vs KD showdowns we got a preview of last month.

Schedule and Results

Game

Away

Home

Date

Time

TV

Results

Game 1:
BKN leads 1-0

5/22/21

8:00 PM ET

ABC

Celtics - 93
Nets - 104

Game 2:
BKN leads 2-0

5/25/21

7:30 PM ET

TNT

Celtics - 108
Nets - 130

Game 3:
BKN leads 2-1

5/28/21

8:30 PM ET

ABC

Nets - 119
Celtics - 125

Game 4: BKN leads 3-1

5/30/21

7:00 PM ET

TNT

Nets - 141
Celtics - 126

Game 5:
BKN wins series 4-1

6/01/21

7:30 PM ET

TNT

Celtics - 109
Nets - 123

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Lakers send D’Angelo Russell, Timofey Mozgov to Nets for Brook Lopez and first-round pick

Among the trade rumors to acquire Paul George from the Indiana Pacers, the Lakers are staying active on the trade front. According to sources at Yahoo Sports, the Lakers will be sending D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets for Brook Lopez and the No. 27 pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft.

As speculation grew as to who the Lakers would be selecting with the No. 2 pick, it may be a bit more clear that Lonzo Ball is their guy come Thursday. The Lakers also picked up another pick in the first-round tallying up three picks in the round. They will be picking at No.2, No.27, No. 28.

This trade also helps the Lakers free $54 million dollars that would have been owed to Mozgov over the next three years. In return, they gained Lopez’s $22.6 million dollar deal that expires at the end of next season. The Lakers have reportedly been reluctant to trade for George this summer as they would like to keep some of their core assets instead of trading them for the Pacers All-Star