2. Brooklyn Played Solidly vs Bucks in Regular Season at Half-Strength
Brooklyn went 1-2 against Milwaukee in the regular season, but those numbers should come with some qualifications. While they took down the Bucks without Kyrie Irving earlier in the season, both of their losses came when Harden was nursing an injury, and those losses were by a combined nine points on the road.
The Nets also chose to start DeAndre Jordan in those games, assuming that his muscle and interior presence could help Brooklyn slow down Giannis when he drove into the paint. Unfortunately, Giannis tore Brooklyn up, and with Jordan not in the playoff rotation, Nicolas Claxton could give Giannis a different look.
The Brooklyn Nets played well against Milwaukee.
Brooklyn has proven to be a tough out for Milwaukee, as they are the only team in the league that can respond to the barrage of 3-pointers they can unleash at any given moment. It’s also what could give them the edge in this series.
No matter who ends up playing, Brooklyn needs to make some major philosophical changes if they want to put the clamps on Giannis. Saying “just stop him” is obviously 1,000 times easier than doing it in real life, but the Nets shouldn’t be shaking in their boots when it comes to devising strategies.