The Milwaukee Bucks lost Game 1 of the NBA Finals to the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night, but for one night at least, Giannis Antetokounmpo had the world locked down. Antetokounmpo dominated the Lakers for the majority of the game, scoring 29 points, grabbing 11 rebounds, and dishing out six assists. However, the Bucks’ star forward did come up short in one category: 3-point shooting. Antetokounmpo went 0-for-4 from the 3-point line. As a team, the Bucks shot just 6-for-30 from beyond the arc, which was pretty abysmal considering the Lakers shot just 33.3 percent from deep. The Lakers proved to
The Milwaukee Bucks are an up and coming franchise, but when it comes to getting national attention, they are still one of the league’s most underrated. The Bucks are the only team in the NBA to have a majority of their games aired on local television, but they are still overlooked in the national spotlight.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, a 21 year-old Greek power forward, is a no-brainer choice for NBA MVP after a spectacular first season with the Milwaukee Bucks. His numbers are incredible, as he leads the league in points, rebounds, blocks and steals. And his 20.6 points, 12.8 rebounds and 5.4 blocks per game are league-leading marks as well. Antetokounmpo has been a revelation for the Bucks, who have been a bottom feeder in the NBA for a decade, despite a roster that includes a lot of NBA veterans.
Let us not forget that the Milwaukee Bucks are the reigning champs. In the NBA Finals, Giannis Antetokounmpo put on a show that cemented his place as one of the best players in the league’s history. Despite the fact that they brought back almost everyone from the championship team, people tend to forget about them while making Finals predictions.
This off-season, both the Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets have done a lot of roster restructuring, and I mean a LOT. Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, and Bruce Brown were brought back from their last tenure, while LaMarcus Aldridge and Patty Mills were added in free agency. DeAndre Jordan, who is allegedly signed with the Lakers, was just traded for Jahlil Okafor and Sekou Doumbouya.
The Lakers, on the other hand, have shuffled their roster quite a bit. They added a slew of quality veterans, including Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo from their championship team, Malik Monk, Kendrick Nunn, and Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James’ Banana Boat brother. They also acquired Russell Westbrook via a trade. I’ve heard he’s very excellent. But I’m not sure.
Fans have been predicting a Lakers-Nets Finals in 2022 as a foregone conclusion as a result of these developments. Many people believe that one of these two teams will win the championship.
NBA Finals 2022 – Lakers versus. Nets. twitter.com/qUSxpnB3tY
September 2, 2021 — Kobe Brasil (@BrasilKobe)
We’re going to see the Nets take on the Lakers.
The NBA Finals will be the most star-studded in history.
And the Nets will completely destroy them.
Micah Adams (@MicahAdams13) (@MicahAdams13) (@MicahAdams13) (@Micah 3. September 2021
The NBA finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets in June 2022. twitter.com/UtHcP72LQe
August 28, 2021 — Shamar English (@english shamar)
But, in order to get there, the Nets must first remove the Bucks, which is easier said than done.
Don’t get me wrong: the Nets are a star-studded squad. When all three of Durant, James Harden, and their teammates are healthy, they are by far the greatest team in the NBA. There’s no stopping them now. They’re all capable of calling their own shots and facilitating the offense on their own. And, with shooters and rim finishers all around them, they have a lethal offense and, at most, a passable defense.
But the important phrase here is IF they’re completely healthy. Irving is known for his inability to remain healthy, having appeared in just 20 games in the 2019-2020 season and 54 games in the 2020-2021 season. Durant’s leg may still be bothering him. Harden is the most injury-resistant of the three, but his hamstring injury from last season may cause him problems in the future.
On the other side, the Bucks have studs who have shown they can remain healthy. Antetokounmpo has previously beaten the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals after recovering from a nasty-looking knee injury. Khris Middleton has never had to sit out a game or dealt with lingering injuries for the whole of his career. Jrue Holiday has experienced his fair share of ailments, but he’s been mostly injury-free in recent years.
In addition, the Bucks are probably the Nets’ worst opponent. Despite the loss of PJ Tucker to the Miami Heat, the Bucks still have a number of options for KD: Bobby Portis, Khris Middleton, and the recently acquired Semi Ojeleye can all help out. Giannis is an excellent help defender who can close down on any Kyrie or Harden penetration, particularly if he’s dressed as a non-shooter. And, of course, every guard in the NBA, including Harden and Irving, faces a nightmarish matchup against Jrue Holiday.
The Bucks’ other East games range from intriguing to 50/50 at best. The Miami Heat have retooled their squad by acquiring Tucker and dealing for Kyle Lowry. The Philadelphia 76ers seem to be a legitimate danger to the Bucks, but with Ben Simmons either departing or refusing to play for the Sixers, they are virtually non-existent. Aside from those three clubs, the Bucks have little serious competition.
The Lakers aren’t a foregone conclusion in the Western Conference. However, if they do, they may have some difficulties against the Bucks. LeBron James’ diminishing agility will harm him against a club that focuses on preventing shots at the rim, forcing him to take outside jumpers. They do have Marc Gasol, who was instrumental in the Toronto Raptors’ infamous “wall” constructed to halt Giannis during their championship run.
But Giannis has developed a stronger passing game and more mini-moves to get past that wall, and he’s now impervious to it. In addition, losing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will hurt them in this game, as the Lakers have no effective defenders against a powerful and fast guard like Jrue Holiday.
Some may see Jrue Holiday’s offensive troubles as a major flaw in the Bucks’ championship defense. However, it’s conceivable that a) it was an anomaly, given Holiday’s previous playoff performance in New Orleans, and b) he was still getting used to living with Giannis Antetokounmpo, which may be rectified with a year’s worth of experience with him.
Khris Middleton, his other backcourt partner, may be hit or miss at times, but when he does, oh boy, is he entertaining to watch. At worst, both are good defenders, so even if they struggle offensively, they still have an effect on the other team.
Last season, we made the huge error of writing Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks off. Many of us believed the Heat could replicate their regular-season magic against them in the playoffs, even when they looked terrific. We wrote off their prospects of beating the Nets after they were thrashed in Game 2. We believed they were finished when Giannis went down in the series versus Atlanta.
The Bucks, on the other hand, have never buckled under pressure. They persisted despite the fact that many people did not believe in them. They now have championship experience in their blood, as well as the failures of past years to guide them. The Bucks, led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, are eager to prove to the world that they are still a force to be reckoned with.
The Milwaukee Bucks are the last of the eight teams to win the NBA title. They didn’t make the playoffs this season, despite having superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo. Antetokounmpo is the MVP frontrunner after the Bucks won 51 games. The Greek Freak has gone on record saying that he wants to play until he’s 35. That’s an unbelievable run for a superstar.. Read more about nets vs bucks pick and let us know what you think.
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