Brooklyn Nets: 3 player matchups team should be worried about in playoffs

Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

1. Giannis Antetokounmpo

To say that the Nets didn’t have an answer for Giannis Antetokounmpo in each of their last two meetings against Milwaukee would be an understatement.

In the first fixture, Antetokounmpo poured in a cool 49 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three blocks on 21-of-36 shooting, including 4-of-8 on threes in a 117-114 win. Just a couple days later, he managed a 36-12-4 line in another Bucks victory.

The Bucks only won by a combined nine points in those matchups, but it still doesn’t bode well for the Nets that they had zero answers for Giannis. It also seems significant Milwaukee was able to withstand sublime performances from Durant and Irving, who combined to score 70 and 62 points on 47.7% shooting in those games, respectively.

The Nets should be having nightmares thinking about defending Giannis Antetokounmpo in the playoffs.

Harden returning to action could be enough to overwhelm the Bucks on defense, but the fact that Antetokounmpo is seemingly a surefire bet to score at least 35 points on over 50% shooting indicates Milwaukee should remain competitive in every game of a potential series.

If you think about it, the Nets don’t have anyone who can body Giannis. Durant has the length, but he’s too slim to body him in the post. The same can be said for Nicolas Claxton. DeAndre Jordan has the height, but he lacks the required lateral quickness at this stage of his career.

So, who’s left? We’re probably looking at the Nets asking Jeff Green to put forth a herculean effort on defense. In terms of team defense, forming a blockade in the restricted area sounds promising on paper, but Giannis has the smarts to kick out to a corner shooter.

In other words, the Nets better hope their offense is clicking in a potential playoff series against Milwaukee, because we don’t see how they’d slow down the Greek Freak.