The Brooklyn Nets fell 124-114 to one of their main rivals, the undefeated Boston Celtics, on Saturday night at the Barclays Center. It doesn’t get any easier tonight for the 3-3 Nets, as Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard, and the loaded Milwaukee Bucks come to town.
This will be Lillard’s first game in Brooklyn as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks. If you remember (how could you forget) the lengthy Lillard trade saga, Brooklyn was one of the teams Lillard was willing to be traded to and the only team in New York City he would have been happy to go to.
Are Giannis and Dame playing for the Bucks tonight?
Yeah, why wouldn’t they? These two are healthy and uninterested in load managing early in the season. Only Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat do stuff like that. The entire Milwaukee Bucks roster is healthy and available tonight, though forward Khris Middleton is on a minutes restriction as he deals with right knee problems.
Are the Nets fully healthy?
Unfortunately, they are not. Nic Claxton, who has been out since opening night, has an ankle injury. That ankle injury, a sprained ankle, is expected to sideline the stud defender for six to eight weeks. Cam Johnson has a calf injury and remains out. Like Claxton, Johnson, one of Brooklyn’s most important players, has been out since the season opener and should be re-evaluated within the next week.
Lonnie Walker IV is day-to-day with a knee injury and is questionable for tonight’s showdown. He is trying to play.
Other Important Information
With Claxton out, Dorian Finney-Smith will continue to start at center. The Nets have been deploying a small-ball lineup in Claxton’s absence, and Finney-Smith will have a tough test with Milwaukee center Brook Lopez.
The Nets deploy one of the league’s best benches and will need them to come through again if they hope to shock Milwaukee.