The Brooklyn Nets had little trouble getting past the Boston Celtics in Round 1, but they should be worried about their next opponent: the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Nets boast one of the most talented starting lineups in NBA history, while Milwaukee employs the Greek Freak. It’s a star-studded clash sure to have NBA fans across the nation sitting on the edge of their seats.
While the Celtics were a breeze, there are three main reasons why the Nets should be worried about the Bucks.
NBA Playoffs: Nets move on the face talented Bucks with Giannis
Jrue Holiday’s defense on Kyrie Irving and James Harden
Jrue Holiday was one of the Bucks primary offseason acquisitions and he’s tailor-made for his next defensive assignments: Kyrie Irving and James Harden. Holiday is widely known as one of the NBA’s best defenders and he excels at shutting down opposing shot creators on the perimeter. The Nets will have to find other solutions if he’s able to limit Irving and Harden from getting their usual looks.
Giannis going off in a similar fashion to Jayson Tatum
Two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is a bonafide phenom. In addition to his otherworldly leaping ability, 7-foot-3 wingspan and undeniable basketball IQ, “The Alphabet” is one of the NBA’s premier position-less players. He can play and guard 1-5 when necessary, making him simultaneously a defender’s worst nightmare and a coach’s defensive anchor.
The Nets just dealt with the remarkable scoring abilities of Boston’s Jayson Tatum, but Antetokounmpo is another beast. Plus, Tatum isn’t exactly known for his defense. Antetokounmpo is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year. When he’s knowing throwing down monster jams, he’s blocking you out in the lane and breaking up plays all over the court.
If the Greek Freak has a hot hand, it’ll be a difficult series for Brooklyn.
There’s no doubting the Nets are talented, but their starters haven’t played together all that much, and they’ve got a first-year head coach in Steve Nash.
On the other hand, Mike Budenholzer is a two-time NBA Coach of the Year and has four NBA championship rings as a coach. He’s been there, done that, and has now been with the same core group in Milwaukee for three seasons. They’ve been on deep playoff runs together, and perhaps just as importantly, they’ve fallen short together.
Milwaukee is a close-knit team hungry to prove themselves and they look like they’re finally ready to take the next step.