The Brooklyn Nets currently hold a 2-1 lead over the Milwaukee Bucks after losing Game 3 in a nail biter. Things are getting heated between the two squads, as PJ Tucker and Kevin Durant had to be separated by security at one point in Game 3. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton took off for a combined 68 points on Thursday night, giving Milwaukee the push they needed to win.
The final score was 86-83, a rather low scoring affair compared to how the NBA is played these days. It was a very different night for the Nets, as the team scored over 100 points in the first two games. The Bucks turned it up on defense while allowing Antetokounmpo and Middelton to score at will.
Game 4 should be just as exciting, even though it’s unclear whether or not James Harden returns. Either way, someone on the Nets may have to step up to give their team the advantage. Look for “The Greek Freak” and Khris Middleton to perform at a high level again, as they give the Bucks the best chance at tying up the series. With that said, here are three bold predictions for the Nets-Bucks Game 4 matchup.
Kevin Durant goes off for 50+ points
It’s no doubt that Kevin Durant is one of the best pure scorers in NBA history. However, he may need to elevate his game a bit to keep up with Antetokounmpo and Middleton. Milwaukee’s defense proved to be the deciding factor in Game 3, especially with Harden out of the lineup.
For that reason, Durant might have to put his team on his shoulders and carry them throughout the next game. Kyrie Irving will produce like he always does, but Brooklyn will need some extra scoring with James Harden possibly out for Game 4. Look for Kevin Durant to be at his best on Sunday.
Giannis and Middleton combine for 70+ points
These two literally carried the Bucks throughout Game 3. Without their offense, Milwaukee would have lost their third straight game in a row. The Bucks followed a strict game plan and it worked, which means we could be seeing another monster performance from Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton.
They’ve come close to combining for 70 points already, so why not just go for it Game 4? The rest of the team struggled from the field and didn’t offer much help scoring wise. If that’s the case, we should be seeing plenty of “The Greek Freak” and Middleton on Sunday. Hopefully someone else steps up on the roster though, as Milwaukee’s two stars can’t keep this up forever.
The Nets take a 3-1 series lead
At the end of the day, the Brooklyn Nets have a much more superior team. Especially if Harden is cleared to play in Game 4, we should see Brooklyn run away with it again. Even so, they still have Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Blake Griffin, and Joe Harris who can score when given the opportunity.
The Nets should highly consider getting their rotational guys a bit more involved, especially Joe Harris. He can hit the three-point shot at a consistent rate and has open looks often due to the attention Durant, Harden, and Irving receive. Between Durant’s 50 point night and the rest of the team stepping up as well, Game 4 could get out of hand quickly.