Breaking down matchups that will decide Nets-Bucks series

Now that the Nets have brushed apart Boston, Milwaukee is expected to put up much more of a fight in the second round. The Nets are essentially 2-to-1 favorites to beat the Bucks and attain the Eastern Conference finals. But what are they going to need to do to perform that?

The Post’s Brian Lewis breaks down the matchups that will decide what sort of series that is going to be:

Nets’ 3-point taking pictures vs. Bucks’ 3-point protection

Joe Harris topped the NBA in 3-point proportion, whereas the Nets have been second as a staff at 39.2 p.c. That jumped to a league-leading 42.6 p.c by the primary spherical of the playoffs. The Bucks’ protection — now extra versatile than final season’s conservative drop protection with Brook Lopez below the basket — nonetheless allowed probably the most 3s within the league (14.8), together with the second-highest proportion and third-most makes an attempt. Losing Donte DiVincenzo (ankle) hurts as effectively. Edge: Nets

Bucks’ 3-point taking pictures vs. Nets’ 3-point protection

The Nets’ perimeter protection has been middling in each the common season and postseasons. The Bucks have been prime 5 within the league each in 3-point proportion and makes through the common season, however instantly went chilly from the surface within the playoffs, one of many few issues they didn’t do effectively within the first-round sweep of the Heat. DiVincenzo is out, whereas Lopez, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday are 5-for-39. Can the Nets preserve them cooled off? Edge: Nets

Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo
Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo
Getty Images (2)

Rebounding

The Bucks have been second within the common season in rebounding, however that doesn’t categorical how dominant they’re on the glass. They obtained even higher within the playoffs, with their first-round averages of 59 boards a recreation, and 15.3 on the offensive glass, each main the league by a large margin. The solely purpose the Nets’ 12.3 offensive rebounds allowed weren’t the worst within the first spherical is due to what Milwaukee did to Miami. Edge: Bucks

Drawing fouls and taking pictures free throws

The Nets have been simply eighth in free throws tried through the common season, however that has predictably spiked within the playoffs as Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and foul-drawing machine James Harden have taken over. The Nets’ common of 25 free throws made per recreation within the first spherical led the league by an enormous margin, due to sinking a misprint-like 91.2 proportion. The Bucks, regardless of nearer Khris Middleton — who hit 96.4 p.c over his final 10 video games — are sitting close to the underside among the many remaining groups. Edge: Nets

Nets’ capacity to get paint factors vs. Bucks’ inside protection

The stunning retirement of middle LaMarcus Aldridge left the Nets with basically no post-up risk, so their paint factors have to return from drives, lobs and within the pick-and-roll. The Bucks can sluggish that both with defensive glove Holiday taking away Harden’s drives, or with the inside protection of Antetokounmpo, Lopez and P.J. Tucker. Their common of 37 paint factors allowed within the sweep of the Heat have been the second-fewest within the first spherical. Edge: Bucks

Bucks’ capacity to get paint factors vs. Nets’ inside protection

After being third-worst within the NBA in permitting paint factors by the primary half of the season, the sieve-like Nets lastly tightened that up and improved to sixth within the second half. The Bucks aren’t going to publish the Nets up, however they definitely may feast on the offensive glass or with Antetokounmpo attending to the rim, particularly if Jeff Green is out. The Greek Freak’s recreation has gone extra from isolation and pick-and-roll ball-handler to roll man. Edge: Even

In transition

Both the Nets and the Bucks have harmful fast-breaks, and contemplating the presence of Irving, Antetokounmpo and the opposite stars on this series, that’s not likely a lot of a shock. But the distinction is on the opposite finish, getting again in transition. The Bucks’ transition protection was third-best within the NBA (10.7 factors allowed), whereas the Nets have been center of the pack. That hole did shut considerably within the playoffs, but it surely nonetheless favors Milwaukee, as do most issues defensively. Edge: Bucks

Depth/bench

As typical, rotations will shrink within the playoffs. The Bucks have been basically going nine-deep earlier than the lack of DiVincenzo, who averaged simply 2.3 factors within the playoffs, however added strong perimeter protection. The Nets have performed simply 10 males with any regularity, however that’s together with Green, who suffered a plantar fascia harm on May 25 towards the Celtics and remains to be attempting to return for this series. Against a staff as large as Milwaukee, that’s a pivotal harm. Edge: Bucks

Coaching

The Nets’ Steve Nash has acquitted himself effectively as a rookie head coach. Yes, he had entry to spectacular expertise, but it surely was not often all at his disposal with the Big 3 logging simply 202 minutes, stretched over eight video games, all season. He did preserve the staff pulling in the proper path as his timeout use and endgame administration improved. Still, Milwaukee’s Mike Budenholzer is a two-time NBA Coach of the Year and has the sting most nights. Edge: Bucks

Intangibles

There is one thing to be mentioned for the Bucks working it again once more with all that playoff expertise. And whereas some may ask is failure expertise, sure, expertise is expertise. But deep playoff runs are about stars who’ve full offensive video games that can’t be taken away or simply game-planned for. With their Big 3, the Nets have extra of these than the Bucks — or simply about anyone else, for that matter. Edge: Nets

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