After six slug it out contests between the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks, it all comes down to 48 minutes in Brooklyn on Saturday night. We’ve reached Game Seven, what more needs to be said?
Where We’re At
Mitchell has already done a fabulous job laying out the stakes and what narratives await us all in Game Seven. We saw the Bucks take over in Game Six through fastbreak points (26-4 advantage), forcing turnovers from a Nets team that’s grown a little looser with the handle as the series has progressed. Defense led to easy offense, which also allowed Giannis Antetokounmpo to get into rhythm while Khris Middleton took over in the halfcourt, pouring in 38 points on just 16 shots. It was one of the finest tilts of Middleton’s career, and Milwaukee will likely need a repeat from their two top postseason performers. Jrue Holiday made baffling decisions to settle for 10 3-pointers (hitting only one), but clearly he felt a desire to be aggressive. That hasn’t always been the case, and with a tweak on the decision making dial, he could be the difference in Game Seven after underwhelming all series long.
As for Brooklyn, they packed it in partway through the fourth quarter, but not before putting 40 minutes on Kevin Durant and 36 on James Harden. Durant, who scored 32 on 30 shots, wasn’t at his world-destroying Game Five level, but I’m not sure there’s a more terrifying sight for Bucks fans right now than a Durant jumper. My default assumption is that it’s going in. Harden looked more spry in the last game as well, even getting into his bag of dirty tricks hoping for calls from the refs. I didn’t think Milwaukee was egregiously physical in Game Six so the lack of calls wasn’t too surprising, but they did manage to outshoot the Nets from the line 28 attempts to 14 despite similar totals in the paint (46-44 advantage Milwaukee). I’ll be curious how the refs call this final game.
There’s not really much analysis left for this one, and afterward, regardless of the result, there’s not a lot of need for analysis either. Win, and it’s onto the next round and scouting a different opponent. Lose, and we’ll all be focused on what’s sure to be a turbulent offseason for the franchise, particularly with a head coaching change likely if they fall to Brooklyn. Still, I’ve tried to take the approach this whole series that I’m just going to enjoy these games (“enjoy” meaning still sweating bullets) while we have them. It was an enjoyable enough regular season with lots of new faces, but there was always an inevitable “but we still gotta wait till the postseason to really know” with it all. Well, we’re there, and these contests are the ones that will shape our lens for this franchise over the next year. So, for now, I’m just going to savor the meaningful nature of it while we have it. Hopefully y’all can too, even with every ounce of agony that comes with an elimination game. Go Bucks.
Kyrie is out once again for the Nets. Donte and Jordan Nwora are unavailable for Milwaukee.
Player to Watch
How can Khris Middleton follow up his (maybe) career best performance? That’ll be the question I’m curious about, especially given some of his road and home splits this series. In a sample size of one game though, anything is possible. With the entire team’s 3-point shooting stroke abandoning them, the Bucks are gonna need every deep ball their sharpshooter can pour in.
Game Seven: Against Brooklyn, the Bucks will...
This poll is closed
Win big (by 10 or more points)
Win close (by 9 or fewer points)
Lose close (by 9 or fewer points)
Lose big (by 10 or more points)
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