- The Milwaukee Bucks are down 0-2 in their conference semifinals series against the Brooklyn Nets.
- Brooklyn dealt Milwaukee their second-largest ever loss in the NBA playoffs in Game 2.
- The Bucks have opened as three-point betting favorites to win Game 3 at their home floor.
The Milwaukee Bucks are two losses away from a third straight disappointing finish to their season. But despite the odds they are facing, two-time MVP winner Giannis Antetokounmpo isn’t feeling any different.
According to the Greek Freak, they just have to keep believing in what they’ve built throughout the year and trust his teammates. Said Antetokounmpo:
Game 3 of the series will be played at Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum on Thursday and it will be the most important game of the season for the Bucks.
Milwaukee lost Game 1 by eight points in Brooklyn but the Bucks got obliterated by the Nets in Game 2 in a game where James Harden didn’t play due to injury.
Harden Out for Game 2
James Harden is OUT for Game 2 vs. the Bucks with right hamstring tightness, the Nets have announced. pic.twitter.com/p05tvbEmLB
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) June 6, 2021
With James Harden out for Game 1 due to a hamstring injury, the expectation was that the Bucks would even the series. After all, they lost Game 1 by just eight points after the Nets got unexpected production from Blake Griffin and Mike James. But after being listed as just +1.5 betting underdogs at the best NBA betting sites and being given a good chance of pulling of the upset, the Bucks came up very short on Monday night.
The Nets produced a top-to-bottom blowout win that sent them halfway to the Eastern Conference Finals with a 2-0 lead on the Bucks. Brooklyn shot 52% from the field and made 21 out of 42 three-point attempts, setting a franchise record for most three-pointers made in a playoff game.
Kevin Durant scored 32 points in just three quarters while Brooklyn led by as many as 49 points in their most lopsided playoff win ever. The Nets held the Bucks, the league’s highest-scoring team, to 34 points below their season scoring average. Milwaukee’s 125-86 loss was the second largest in Bucks playoff history and the worst in Mike Budenholzer’s tenure as Bucks head coach.
Will the Bucks Bounce Back in Game 3?
The Nets win Game 2 (without James Harden) by 39 points 🤯
Will the Bucks bounce back in Game 3? 👀 pic.twitter.com/BXOWE7SrJX
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) June 8, 2021
But while the Nets have taken a 2-0 lead, the Bucks aren’t out of the series yet. Sure, history says that 93.5% of the teams that go up 2-0 in a Best-of-Seven NBA playoffs series has gone on to win the series but we don’t have to look too far back to know that isn’t a given.
The L.A. Clippers lost Games 1 and 2 at their home court at that, to the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of their Western Conference playoff matchup. The Clippers even trailed 3-2 heading to Game 6 in Dallas but was still able to pull through by winning Games 6 and 7. Although these are two different playoff matchups, the Bucks are still very much in this.
Milwaukee has opened as three-point betting favorites to win Game 3 and are the slight -160 betting favorite to cut the Nets’ lead to 2-1. If Giannis and company can keep their focus and take this one game at a time, there is no reason to believe that the Bucks can’t make a fight out of this series. Sure, the BetOnline App has the Nets as the -415 favorites to win the series, But if the Bucks can take care of business at home, this series is far from over.