FINALLY, it’s here! A game preview for a contest that is actually going to count. Brooklyn and Milwaukee battled hard in round two a season ago, and they will square off to open the NBA season this year. Of course, Kyrie Irving is not part of tonight’s festivities and will not play until he receives his vaccine.
On the other side, P.J. Tucker is now in Miami, his half-year with the Bucks helping lead them to a title. They could not have done it without him, and his fit there was hand-in-glove, as he found that he was just what they were missing. And coming back without him around will be tough, but this is still a loaded team either way.
As for the Nets, they have only two superstars now instead of three. The jokes saying “cry about it” will probably come in for those fans who still want Irving to come back. But when you have James Harden and Kevin Durant on the same team, you should be able to win your conference. The Thunder did it (also with Russell Westbrook), so the Nets have to step up.
Milwaukee will receive their rings prior to the game, though the team is going to be without Bobby Portis Jr. for this game. They’ll miss him.
Betting Odds & Lines
The spread for opening night is set at MIL -1. The over/under is 237.5 points. The Nets moneyline is -102; the Bucks is -115.
Brooklyn is Back
The Nets have a goal of winning the title this year, of course. And the team standing in their way is the one they will meet on opening night. The home team had been 6-0 in the Nets-Bucks series a season ago, and it was Milwaukee who took a Game 7 stunner in overtime to move to the conference finals.
No excuses this year for Brooklyn. They didn’t have Kyrie last year and looked fine. Joe Harris should return to form. Patty Mills is coming in to provide firepower. They have Paul Millsap and did also get LaMarcus Aldridge back, finally cleared to play again, his heart in check.
They have a lot of depth. They should be able to make things fun. Look for rookie Cam Thomas to be a breakout candidate.
Giannis, Bucks Seek 1-0 Beginning
The Bucks actually started slowly last year. They had a long-losing skid, and Jrue Holiday was on the COVID-19 list for multiple weeks. He returned, and they eventually had a double-digit winning streak to begin the righting of their ship.
After they get their rings tonight, it will be time to get back on the court. Giannis Antetokounmpo looks like he developed a quicker release on his jump shots. They have Grayson Allen and George Hill as bench upgrades. And Jordan Nwora might be ready for rotation minutes.
Most importantly, they will eventually get Donte DiVincenzo back, helping make their defense whole again. This is a hard team to defeat, and they will want to prove an opening night point.
Bucks Begin with a Win
The Bucks won’t be stopped on ring night. Giannis will go for 35-15 to lift his team.
- MIL -1
- Under 237.5
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