Nets vs. Bucks: The best player prop bets for Game 6
Games like Game 5 are the reason we watch basketball. There is a sublime yet exhilarating quality when you watch a player enter a zone like Kevin Durant did in his masterpiece against the Bucks. And in this case, the zone lasted the full 48 minutes. With Kyrie out and Harden a shell of his normal self, Durant went the distance and defeated Milwaukee behind a 49 point triple-double on staggering efficiency.
The Bucks, who blew a big lead against a wounded opponent, will look to steady themselves as the action returns to Milwaukee tonight.
Fri, June 18 2021, 12:40 AM
Game 6 is on ESPN at 8:30 p.m. ET, and we have player prop odds and picks below.
JAMES HARDEN OVER/UNDER 30.5 POINTS, REBOUNDS, and ASSISTS
Nobody can question James Harden’s heart. After re-aggravating his hamstring injury literally seconds into Game 1, many assumed Harden would miss the rest of the series, if not the entire playoffs. But Harden made his return in Game 5 and was nothing close to his usual self on the court. He didn’t have any explosion whatsoever and every one of his jump shots hit front rim. In the first half, he was held scoreless in 20 minutes. Harden went 0-5 from deep and attempted zero free throws. It was the first such stretch of his career.
Jrue Holiday and Pat Connaughton did a great job hedging and recovering on Harden. They used full-court pressure on him and KD right from the jump, aiming not to force turnovers, but to gradually wear them down, knowing these two would need to be offensive fulcrums for the Nets to stand a chance at winning. Durant was able to get his anyway, but this version of Harden could not.
If Harden plays in Game 5, there is every reason to expect he’ll be as limited as he was in Game 5.
JEFF GREEN OVER/UNDER 13.5 POINTS
Even Durant couldn’t beat the Bucks by himself, which is why James Harden tried to give it a go. But in the end, it was Jeff Green that came through for the Nets, adding desperately needed scoring punch alongside KD. In the first half Green went 3-3 from deep, a total of 15 points on just six shots. His efforts kept the Nets within striking distance.
He would finish 8-11 from the field and a preposterous 7-8 on 3’s for 27 points. With Durant drawing eyes all over the court, Green was the second scorer that the Bucks just never managed to slow down. He acted as the screener for Durant in the pick and roll, leaving the plodding Brook Lopez fruitlessly trying to recover from deep in the paint to contest his shot. Green fired from deep with impunity, and it was a trade the Bucks decided they were comfortable making. Green made them pay dearly for it.
Unless the Bucks make a radical change to their defensive coverages, they’ll probably have to keep conceding these looks to Green. And Green has made a 14-year career out of hitting them.
GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO OVER/UNDER 4.5 ASSISTS
Everyone knows that Giannis took his first steps to superstardom when the Bucks put the ball in his hands and empowered him as a playmaker. In the regular season, he averaged just shy of six assists per game. But that number has plummeted in the playoffs, and against Brooklyn he is averaging just 3.4 per contest.
This is because the Bucks have emphasized making Giannis a screener rather than a primary ball-handler ever since Game 3, creating shots from 3 for his pick and roll partners Middleton and Holiday, but resulting in fewer assist opportunities for him.
Now his ball-handling duties are limited primarily to transition attacks or when an opportune mismatch makes itself available. It’s the right play for the Bucks, and it’s every reason to bet the Under here.