Even while assembling their most depleted squad since the notorious 2016-17 media day photograph, the Brooklyn Nets managed to defeat Giannis Antetokounmpo and the first place Milwaukee Bucks.
Once the game’s concluding buzzer went off, even Tyler Johnson, Chris Chiozza, and the other Brooklyn Nets looked shocked, briefly puttering around with puzzled faces unsure if their team assembled almost entirely with reserve players had really just knocked off the NBA’s winningest squad.
When the news broke earlier detailing how Joe Harris, Caris LeVert, and Jarrett Allen would be skipping Brooklyn’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks, BK’s already-low chance to take down the Cream City immediately plummeted, shaping this game as an opportunity for despair … or for Brooklyn’s most improbable win since the dark days following the team’s reconstruction after the Billy King era.
Exhausted players who glanced upwards saw a 119-116 score favored their way flash across the big board, verifying an unforgettable victory for Nets fans, and for those who, until the game ended, seemed more like forgettable components to a forgettable season. With a career high 26 points, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot led the team nearly all the way through to the end until fouling out during the game’s final few minutes. Chiozza also served as an unstoppable creator all night, often driving with ease before whipping the ball out to an open shooter. Finishing with 10 points alongside a career high 10 assists, Chiozza essentially served as an undying spark from buzzer to buzzer.
But during the game’s most dire moment, veteran shooting guard Garrett Temple stepped up huge, sinking a mid-range shot to extend Brooklyn’s lead by three points with only six seconds remaining. Temple finished with 19 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists, all the while fixing his 3-point shot after struggling mightily with it during the team’s first two games of the restart.
What makes this incredible victory for the Nets lies ahead rather than behind us, though, as the Bucks remain the most likely opponent to meet the Nets once the NBA playoffs begin 13 days from now. Looking ahead to postseason play, one might want to conclude the excitement following today’s game with these four takeaways.