Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving will get their points for the Nets. That’s not what left the Bucks so unhappy with the first two games of this Eastern Conference semifinal series.
No, it was the lack of intensity and connectivity. Allow the Nets to dictate everything. Allow their actors to have such a significant impact.
This is what has to change if something in the series is to be different because the change of location from Barclays Center to Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee for the next two games.
“[We have to] play with a chip on our shoulder, ”Bucks reserve goalie Pat Connaughton told Zoom after practice Wednesday. “It’s having a little more pride, a little more personal and team pride on the defensive side, on the offensive side. Make it difficult for them. Use Game 2 as fuel to get out and show what kind of team we are.
Almost everything went wrong for All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo and Milwaukee in the first two games. Even though James Harden (hamstring) missed all of those competitions except for a minute, the Nets edged the Bucks by 47 points. Durant averaged 30.5 points in both games and Irving posted 23.5 points per game.
The effortless way the Nets did it and how easy it all seemed to them was remarkable. There was very little pullback, almost no resistance in the emasculation of 39 points in Game 2. The Nets only committed 16 turnovers in both games, compared to 30 by the Bucks. As a team, the Nets are shooting 44.4% (36 for 81) at 3 points. Much of those were open looks, the result of 52 assists. The smaller Nets even blocked more shots, nine to six, and were the best team when it comes to intangibles.
“These are the things we have to start over, get people out of the glass, 50/50 bullets, these things have to be more in our favor and that’s what we have to get back to,” Bucks forward PJ said. Tucker. mentionned. “They had great intensity in the first two games. They’ve been everywhere, everywhere on the pitch, in attack and defense.
“They just had a little more advantage than us. For us, we also need to be able to have an effect in those parts of the game, not just by making shots, things that go into the stats sheet. We have to do better in things that are not on the statistics sheet. “
The Bucks know they can’t let the other Nets guys go too. So far, however, this has been the case. Joe Harris and Bruce Brown each scored 13 points in Game 2, and Mike James added 10. Blake Griffin had 18 points and 14 rebounds in Game 1 and Harris scored 19.
“We can’t give everyone what they get. We can’t let all the guys on the bench come in and shoot and get layups and second chance points, ”Tucker said. “It starts to go up, and that’s when the lead goes up. We have to contain everyone.