There have been five NBA playoff games this week. Four of them have ended with the loser having blown a double-digit lead to the pregame underdog. Half of the six teams still playing in the second round are missing at least one 2021 All-Star. Kevin Durant and Paul George both went supernova missing those star teammates, playing what might have been the best games of each of their careers on back-to-back nights.
In other words, the basketball world is in a state of utter chaos, and until things normalize slightly, you might want to take a step back and let the universe realign itself. Of course, if you wanted to do that, you probably wouldn't be reading this. So let's just dive into Nets vs. Bucks knowing that I tried to warn you.
All lines are courtesy of William Hill Sportsbook
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Brooklyn Nets
Game 6: Brooklyn leads series 3-2
Time: 8:30 p.m. ET | TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
The Nets could very easily still win this series, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are going to win Game 6. Durant just played maybe the best playoff game of the century. Can he really be expected to repeat that? Can Jeff Green make seven 3-pointers again? Will the Bucks let James Harden get away with complete and utter immobility again? If the Bucks get out to another big lead, the Nets have no reason to go all out and play Durant 48 minutes again. The pressure is on Milwaukee. If this gets out of hand, the Nets can remove Durant and rest him for Game 7 at home. Urgency won Brooklyn Game 5. If it's gone, the Bucks should be OK for Game 6. The pick: Bucks -5.5
Jeff Green has scored 14 or more points in only 18 of his 76 playoff games. What happened in Game 5 is par for the Green course. He explodes for one or two games in a series before becoming a normal role player again. That would be fine if the Nets were at full strength, but they aren't. He was responsible for almost a quarter of Brooklyn's points in Game 5. The Bucks will be ready in Game 6, and he should regress. The pick: Green under 13.5 points
Brook Lopez has made only five 2-point shots in the past four games. It makes very little sense. The Nets are using their long big man to guard Giannis Antetokounmpo, and the Bucks aren't punishing them for that by posting up Lopez against mismatches. He's almost entirely been a standstill shooter in this series. He made three 3s in Game 5, but if he isn't scoring near the basket consistently, he's probably not getting to this total. The pick: Lopez under 13.5 points