Bucks vs. Nets: The best player prop bets for Game 2
The Brooklyn Nets were dealt an unexpected blow on Saturday night in Game 1 of their playoff series with the Milwaukee Bucks when James Harden exited early with hamstring tightness. While the Nets were successful in securing the victory despite Harden’s departure, they were just 12-11 without "The Beard" in 2021, and will be without his services again on Monday night.
As we look toward the big matchup, here are the three best player props to wager on for Game 2.
Mon, June 7 2021, 11:30 PM
Kevin Durant Over/Under 32.5 Points
The Nets effectively won Game 1 early in the fourth quarter when Kevin Durant took over the game.
Bucks forward PJ Tucker was specifically brought to Milwaukee as a Durant-stopper, but he only played 28 minutes and wasn’t able to fully limit KD, as the former scoring champ contributed 29 points and 10 rebounds.
In fairness to Tucker, few players can stop Durant from scoring in bunches. Durant has clearly healed from his Achilles injury, and is a threat to score from anywhere on the court.
In playoff basketball, teams will call upon their stars through an entire fourth quarter if they have to, and the Nets know that even without Harden they can still operate a deadly two-man game with Durant and Kyrie Irving. Durant is arguably the best scorer on the planet, and he will see incredibly high usage in Game 2. Jump on the Over.
Khris Middleton Over/Under 21.5 Points
Throughout his time in Milwaukee, Khris Middleton has been a bit of an underrated player, in part because he's not as talented or as freakishly athletics as teammate Giannis Antetokounmpo.
That being said, Middleton is a fantastic scorer, and much of his scoring is done from beyond the 3-point line. He shot 41.4% from three this year and averaged 20.4 points per game. In Game 1, the Bucks - and Middleton especially - were terrible from deep. As a team, they shot just 20%, and Middleton went 0-5. He went just 6-23 overall from the field, which was a decisive factor in the loss.
In Game 2, I fully expect Middleton to bounce back and have a better performance. 23 shots attempted despite clearly being ineffective is an incredible amount of trust, and assuming he is given that many looks again in Game 2 the math suggests he will significantly improve upon the 13 points he scored.
Brook Lopez Over/Under 5.5 Rebounds
There was a stretch when Brook Lopez won nearly every opening tip-off he participated in, which is a testament to the work ethic and determination he brings to the court. He has never been a big rebounder, but that's partially because of his desire to pull interior players out of the lane and stretch the court with the occasional 3-pointer.
After a Game 1 loss, I expect Lopez to hit the glass hard. Fellow veteran Blake Griffin showed him up in Game 1 with 14 rebounds, but there isn’t anyone on the Nets that Lopez can’t compete with for boards. The Nets also don’t have a major shot blocker that Lopez should be pulling away from the basket for drives from Antetokounmpo.
Lopez averaged only 5.0 rebounds per game this season with the Bucks, and that’s the number he achieved in Game 1. I expect far more impact from him on the glass tonight in Game 2.