Bucks vs. Nets NBA Preview and Best Bet

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Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets. Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images/AFP.

The Milwaukee Bucks head to Brooklyn in a rematch of last year’s most exciting playoff series. The best two teams in the East will meet again in a brewing rivalry. Which team is the right NBA pick?

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Brooklyn Nets

Friday, January 07, 2022 – 07:30 PM EST at Barclays Center

Milwaukee Bucks

This will be the Bucks' first visit to Brooklyn since their game 7 victory in the semifinal round of the playoffs last season. The Bucks were fortunate to win that series and the rivalry is continuing to grow. The Bucks have lost two in a row after falling to the Pistons on Monday, and the Raptors on Wednesday. Both losses were at home. Milwaukee team leader Giannis Antetokounmpo missed Wednesday's game with a non COVID illness. Giannis is listed as a game-time decision, but I expect that he will be available for this marquee matchup.

The Milwaukee Bucks are 25-15 on the year. They have a 12-8 road record this season. The Bucks point differential this season is only 4.1, a stark contrast from the last two seasons; where they were at close to historic levels of point differential. After multiple runs through the NBA Playoffs, one has to wonder if the Bucks are starting to take the regular season a little more lightly.

Milwaukee will be missing some depth in this game. Jrue Holiday, George Hill, Grayson Allen, and Pat Connaughton all will miss the game due to COVID protocols. Donte DiVincenzo will also miss the game with an ankle injury.

The Bucks will especially miss Holiday who did an excellent job against the Nets James Harden during last season’s playoff series. Holiday is the key to the Bucks championship-level defense as he stops opposing teams at the point of attack. With the Bucks missing so many of their top guards, James Harden could be in for a big night.

Brooklyn Nets

The Brooklyn Nets welcomed Kyrie Irving back to the lineup for his season debut in Indiana on Wednesday night. Kyrie gave the team needed energy. They were able to overcome a double-digit deficit to still win the game quite handily and even cover the NBA odds. Unfortunately for the Nets, Irving will not be available tonight as he is only eligible to play in road games due to restrictions enforced by the city of New York.

However, the Nets still have plenty of firepower with two of the greatest scorers in the NBA, Kevin Durant and James Harden. After COVID decimated the team, the Nets are close to being fully healthy for this matchup. That means excellent role players Nicolas Claxton, LaMarcus Aldridge, James Johnson, and Patty Mills will all be able to chip in for the Nets cause. All four players may not put up a lot in the way of statistics in the box score, but their contribution means a lot to this top-heavy team.

The win over the Pacers broke a three-game losing streak for the Nets. The losing streak was unfortunate for the Nets because it allowed the Chicago Bulls to overtake them for the number one seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Nets will be excited to prove they can beat the elite of the league. They are having trouble against the NBA's best this season. The Nets are a combined 0-7 against the Bucks, Warriors, Bulls, Heat, Suns, and Grizzlies. They would love to get a win against a top team, for the standings and for their own confidence.

Key Matchup

Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. Kevin Durant. The two former MVPs will decide this game. The duel will continue what is getting to be a fierce rivalry of contrasting styles. Durant is a deadly shooter who can pull up from any range with his jumper. Giannis is a slasher who gets to the rim and post with ease, allowing him to get high percentage shots against even the best defenders. Giannis will not defend Durant until crunch time, but the Bucks like that switch to give Durant a different challenge with the game on the line. Whichever superstar controls the game down the stretch will most likely lead his team to victory.

Best Bet

Although Brooklyn has struggled against the NBA's best, the lack of guards for Milwaukee tonight will pose a big problem for the Bucks. During the series, last season, many of the games were blowouts until Game 7. This could be the case tonight as Brooklyn should be able to take advantage of Milwaukee's depleted roster. Today's play of the day is the Brooklyn Nets at one of the top-rated sportsbooks.

NBA Pick: Brooklyn Nets -5 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Brooklyn Nets -5 (-110)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.