NBA Tips & Preview – Bucks @ Nets

The daily preview it to the rim with NBA tips for an out-and-out East blockbuster between Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks in NY. 

10:30 (AEDT), Fri 1st Apr @ Barclays Center, Brooklyn

History: Played 204: Bucks 119 V Nets 85

Last meeting: February 26, 2022: Nets 126 d Bucks 123 at Fiserv Forum

Final Thoughts: Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets are the top two favourites to take out the Eastern Conference title. But with less than two weeks of the regular season remaining, one is in contention for the East’s top seed while the other is heading for the play-in tournament scramble.

The 40-36 Nets are currently eighth with no chance of climbing into the top six and with the Hornets and Hawks breathing down their necks. But in a campaign hampered by injuries and COVID-related unavailability, the Nets have hit some consistent form in recent weeks courtesy of eight wins in their last 11 games.

In the past week Brooklyn have bookended a 119-110 loss to Charlotte with wins over Miami (110-95) and Detroit (130-123). Kevin Durant went off for 41 points and 11 rebounds against the Pistons. Kyrie Irving, who has had two 50-plus nights this month and is now permitted to play home games, put up 24 points.

The 47-28 Bucks are second in the East, just a game behind the conference-leading Heat. They have won 11 of their last 14 and bounced back from a heavy loss to the Grizzlies (127-102) on the weekend with a 118-116 eclipse of fellow heavyweights the 76ers on Tuesday (AEDT).

Giannis Antetokounmpo was in dominant touch in Philly with 40 points and 14 rebounds, while Khris Middleton (22 pts, 9 reb, 7 ast) and Jrue Holiday (18 pts, 8 reb, 10 ast) stepped up in a warning shot ahead of the playoffs.

Bucks hold season series edge, Nets win most recent clash in boilover

Milwaukee boasts a 2-1 lead in the season ledger against Brooklyn. The Bucks cruised to a 127-104 season-opening victory, despite an even duel between Antetokoumnpo (32 pts, 14 reb, 7 ast) and Durant (32 pts, 11 reb, 4 ast). The Bucks took out the January clash in Brooklyn 121-109, with Giannis (31 pts, 7 reb, 9 ast) getting solid support from Bobby Portis (25 pts, 12 reb) to outlast one-man band KD (29 pts, 9 reb 7 ast).

But with Durant out of last month’s showdown in Milwaukee, Kyrie Irving (38 pts, 5 ast) and Andre Drummond (17 pts, 12 reb, 5 ast) spearheaded a 126-123 Nets win as big underdogs. Portis (30 pts, 12 reb) top-scored for the Bucks, while Antetokounmpo (29 pts, 14 reb, 6 ast) was typically prominent.

The Nets are just 17-20 at home this season – including an NBA-worst (by some margin) 8-28-1 against the start – but have won four of their last six at Barclays Center. The Bucks are 21-16 on the road (20-17 ATS), winning eight of their last 12 away games.

Both teams are in arguably their best form of the season – expect them to take it up another notch with plenty at stake standings-wise, as well a psychological edge ahead of a potential post-season showdown that could come as early as the First Round.

The Nets are narrow favourites at home but I liked what I saw from the Bucks last time out against the Sixers.

Best Bet: Result – Bucks @ $2.00