The first-place Nets’ subsequent two video games in Milwaukee could also be regular-season clashes, however they are going to have postseason vibes.
Between a mini-series schedule, to testing towards the very best and even making an attempt for the highest seed, all the things about Sunday and Tuesday’s nationally televised showdowns at Fiserv Forum simply screams playoff preview.
“Yeah, I guess you could say that,” Kyrie Irving admitted. “It’s probably the only time we’ll have a chance to see a team twice, right? Yeah, so, [they] could be one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference alongside us, and that’s a competitor’s dream. So, we look forward to it. We know that they’ve been playing well. So, we’re just looking forward to going in there.”
The Nets know they may see Milwaukee within the playoffs, and these subsequent two video games could properly decide if that’s a second-round matchup or additional down the road if each attain the Eastern Conference finals.
Brooklyn (43-21) is a half-game forward of Philadelphia and three ½ away from the third-place Bucks (39-24) coming into Sunday afternoon’s matinee (3:30 p.m., ABC).
The Nets flip round and play in Milwaukee once more Tuesday (7:30 p.m., TNT), the primary two dates on a brutal five-game journey that the superior projections say will drop them behind the 76ers. If so, they’d doubtlessly need to deal with a second-round matchup towards Milwaukee and two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.
That makes these two video games not solely an amazing measuring stick however added incentive to get the highest seed and make the 76ers and Bucks deal with one another.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to play a terrific team, a team that could very well be there at the end in the East, and to measure ourselves and see how far we’ve come,” coach Steve Nash stated. “We’re getting right down to the nitty-gritty.
“So, to have these types of games and challenges — and we’ve got a few of them left for sure — it’s great for us, great for our development, great for our gauging of where we’re at and what we need to improve on. They’ll cause all sorts of problems, and hopefully we can do the same and they’ll be great matchups.”
There’s damage intrigue with the matchups. Kevin Durant (left hamstring) missed Friday’s loss to Portland however is tentatively anticipated to play towards Milwaukee. James Harden is still out with his personal hamstring pressure.
Meanwhile, Antetokounmpo missed Friday’s sport after rolling his already sprained proper ankle within the opening minute the night time earlier than in a loss to Houston.
The incomplete rosters make scouting as difficult as it’s needed.
“At this point it’s not so much front of the mind for my position,” Nash stated. “But we do have a scouting division and a , so all of the groups are out right here amassing information and video and scouting studies.
“So that is part of the NBA for sure. How well you do it and how much you prioritize it probably depends on each department and each club. But that is something that certainly is a service and a skill that our departments will be on top of to make sure we’re overprepared come that time.”
The mixture of Brooklyn having the Eleventh-toughest schedule and 76ers having fun with the league’s best run-in places the Nets’ No. 1 seed hopes in jeopardy. Their odds have dipped to only 21.6 %, in response to Basketball Reference.
“I’m going to be honest: We haven’t talked about it. Speaking individually, I haven’t focused much on it,” Jeff Green stated. “We’ve got — how many games have we got left? Eight. When these eight games are over you can ask me again.”
Or possibly when these two are over. They will determine how real looking the No. 1 seed is, and the way a lot the Nets put money into chasing it.
Either method, Irving says they are going to be pleased with the work.
“We’re just having fun, man. We’re enjoying the journey. Wherever we land, I think we’ll be proud,” Irving stated. “The circumstances of the season, to still be the No. 1 seed or still fluctuating between one and two, it’s a blessing.”