Bucks vs. Nets: The best player prop bets for Game 1
In a second-round series that feels like a conference finals, the Milwaukee Bucks will play the Brooklyn Nets in a best-of-seven beginning on Saturday night (7:30 p.m. ET, TNT). The season series between these two clubs was highly entertaining, with the lowest scoring game being a 117-114 decision in favor of the Bucks, who won two out of three on the year.
But the Nets are at full strength now, made light work of the Boston Celtics in the quarterfinals, and have home-court advantage. Now without further ado, let’s highlight a trio of our favorite player props for Saturday’s Game 1 matchup.
Sat, June 5 2021, 11:40 PM
Kevin Durant Over/Under 28.5 points
Kevin Durant played at a high level in the Nets’ five-game series triumph over the Celtics, making 56.2% of his field goal attempts – including 50% from three-point land – and sinking 43 of a possible 47 free throws. As a result, Durant topped 28.5 points in Games 1, 3 and 4, and averaged 32.6 points for the series. It’s almost unfair to count Game 2 as a “miss” on this 28.5-point line, as he played just 29 minutes in a lopsided 130-108 victory.
As we alluded to in the intro, this is expected to be a contentious and high-scoring series, with Game 1 being no exception. The total is a sky-high 239.5 points. A rising tide lifts all boats, so take the Over here.
James Harden Over/Under 10.5 assists
“The Beard” is shedding his reputation as a ball hog, putting up gaudy assist numbers night after night. James Harden averaged 10.6 assists per game in the Celtics series, in line with his 10.8 assists per game average in the regular season (36 games).
Milwaukee was a mediocre 21st in opponent points per game this year (113.4), and 16th in opponent assists per game (24.9). Harden shouldn’t struggle to reach 11 assists on Saturday night.
Giannis Antetokounmpo made threes
Even the casual NBA fan knows that Giannis Antetokounmpo’s forte is not the three-point shot. Sometimes they fall for him, especially when defenses back away and essentially dare him to make one, but his specialty remains his play in the paint on both ends of the floor.
“The Greek Freak” shot 30.3% from beyond the arc in the regular season (67-for-221, or just over one make for every 3.6 attempts), and made just one of 16 three-point tries in the Bucks’ four-game sweep of the Miami Heat.
Points won’t exactly be at a premium in Game 1, but Milwaukee can’t afford to throw away possessions either. Giannis might make one three-ball with a little luck, but that would appear to be his ceiling here.