The Brooklyn Nets managed to take care of business against the Boston Celtics by taking them down in five games without breaking a sweat, but they have an incredibly daunting task ahead of them against two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks.
Milwaukee is not your average No. 3 seed, as they have the game’s best offense in terms of points per game in addition to some tremendous defensive stoppers in Giannis, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday.
Brooklyn might have some spring in their step after taking down the Celtics, but Milwaukee is fresh off a complete demolition of the Miami Heat in four games, meaning that Brooklyn can’t lean on a tremendous series against Boston and hope that their momentum will carry them to a victory.
The Bucks have some teeth, and Brooklyn must be very careful when approaching an offense as dynamic as this one. However, there are some slight advantages Brooklyn will be able to lean on in this matchup.
3 reasons the Nets should feel confident against the Bucks.
3. No Donte DiVincenzo
The pride of northern Delaware, DiVincenzo has evolved from a March Madness hero into a legitimately lethal shooter from the outside and defender on the perimeter. He averaged 10. 4 points and 5.8 rebounds per game despite rarely getting the sign to chuck it whenever he gets the ball.
The Bucks did sweep the Heat, but it came at a cost, as DiVincenzo was lost for the rest of the season due to an injury. Replacing him in the starting lineup is going to be a tall order, as his impact on the club goes beyond what some of the raw numbers show.
Donte DiVincenzo’s absence could help the Nets
The Bucks, per Cleaning The Glass (subscription required), allow 2.2 points fewer per 100 possessions when DiVincenzo is on the floor, which ranks in the 71st percentile across all wings in the league. If there is one team that you definitely do not want to lose some of your best defenders against, it’s Brooklyn.
DiVincenzo won’t be a series-changing loss for the Bucks, but his absence will be felt, especially when push comes to shove late in the game and Mike Budenholzer needs to figure out how to quell all five of Brooklyn’s offensive threats.