Nets hoping to avoid major letdown against Bucks

The Nets don’t have to assume again too far to be reminded of the final time they handily took care of the primary two video games at residence in a playoff collection, earlier than letting their opponent off the mat in Game 3 on the street.

Nearly two weeks in the past, the Nets ventured to Boston in the identical place, solely to enable Jayson Tatum to erupt for 50 factors to get the Celtics on the board within the first-round collection earlier than Brooklyn closed them out in 5.

The Nets actually don’t want to be advised that the Bucks even have gamers able to that form of domination — notably two-time league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo — because the collection shifts to Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee on Thursday evening for Game 3. Brooklyn can lean on its latest expertise to guarantee the right mindset of not letting up following a 39-point demolition of the Bucks in Game 2.

“Definitely different scenarios, but we can draw and take something from that situation,” veteran ahead Blake Griffin stated by way of Zoom after follow Wednesday. “I believe we did an incredible job the primary two Boston video games of executing our sport plan and being centered on the little issues and we form of overpassed that [in Game 3]. That’s going to be a giant level of emphasis.

Kevin Durant goes up for a shot against the Bucks.
Kevin Durant goes up for a shot against the Bucks.
NBAE by way of Getty Images

“For us, there’s no relax. We’ve basically done what we’re supposed to do. We’ve won at home. That was kind of the message in the locker room. What have we done? We haven’t done anything. We played solid, but this is sort of how it’s set up. I think that will be our mindset going in.”

James Harden (hamstring) and Jeff Green (plantar fasciitis) will sit out for the third straight game Thursday night, Nets coach Steve Nash stated. The 34-year-old Green would possibly return as quickly as Game 4, Nash added, however the 14-year NBA vet has tried to present one other invaluable set of eyes from the bench in the course of the first two victories.

“Our energy, the aggressiveness we’ve had at both ends of the floor has been amazing,” Green stated. “Communicating with one another, being on the identical web page, our protection has been large. We’ve been doing a variety of nice issues to put ourselves within the place we’re at.

“But we can be better, and that’s the great thing about it. We can be better than what we have been, so we’ve been watching film these last couple of days. We’re prepared going to their building in Game 3 to try to duplicate what we’ve been doing.”

Just 28 of 402 groups (6.5 p.c) in NBA historical past who’ve dropped the primary two video games have recovered to win a playoff collection. One of these cases occurred this 12 months, nonetheless, with the Clippers dropping the primary two video games at residence earlier than eliminating the Mavericks in seven. The Bucks additionally have been on the opposite finish of a kind of situations in 2019, dropping 4 straight video games to Toronto within the Eastern Conference finals after taking the primary two.

The Nets can't let up with Giannis Antetokounmpo around.
The Nets can’t let up with Giannis Antetokounmpo round.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Nash stated he’s been most impressed with “the fight” his staff has displayed regardless of Harden’s absence, and its “competition level” at each ends of the court docket. He additionally careworn that being “defensively locked in” was the important thing to Monday’s blowout victory.

Indeed, Brooklyn has limited the Bucks to 24.6 percent from 3-point vary in the course of the collection and 45.6 p.c total. Two-time All-Star ahead Khris Middleton has missed 30 of 43 field-goal makes an attempt, and he’s totaled simply 30 factors within the video games at Barclays Center.

Antetokounmpo was held to 18 factors in Monday’s blowout, however the Greek Freak is able to erupting and carrying his staff again into the collection, simply as Tatum did in Game 3 against the Nets one spherical earlier.

“It’s not something that we necessarily make a huge deal out of to the players because it’s a different series at a different time. But it is an experience that we do have and something that we can mention to guys in moments just to make sure we stay extremely locked in and prepared,” Nash stated. “This is going to be a really tough game and seeing the best Milwaukee has in Game 3, so we’ve got to be prepared for that and be ready to come out of the gates really strong.”

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