The Brooklyn Nets are draining shots at an absurd rate. Kevin Durant can't be stopped. Even without James Harden, Brooklyn built a 49-point lead on the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals and cruised to one of the easier wins you'll see in the playoffs.
Somehow, they're underdogs against the Bucks in Game 3.
Right now, WynnBET has pegged the Bucks as 3.5-point favorites over the Nets in Game 3 with the Nets getting +130 odds (bet $100 to win $130) to win the game outright. While the Bucks are now on their home court and have their backs against the wall down 2-0 in the series, there's no way the Nets should be underdogs in this game. Quite frankly, whether they're playing in Brooklyn, Milwaukee or Antartica, they shouldn't be underdogs the rest of the playoffs.
Currently, the Nets are shooting a combined 50% from the field, 43% from deep and 91% at the line. They average 122.4 points per game and have the best offensive efficiency rating in the NBA playoffs.
This isn't some fluke. They were the most efficient offense in the NBA during the regular season and, while their slash line in the regular season (43/39/80) isn't as good as now (50/43/91), there's no reason to think they can't keep this up, with or without Harden.
No one on the Bucks can guard Kevin Durant. No one in the league can right now. He's an assassin in the midrange and seems hellbent on reminding everyone he's the best offensive player in the NBA during these playoffs. He's scoring 32 points per game on 55% shooting overall and 50% from deep. You tell me who can stop a shifty 6-foot-10 player who shoots like that.
Kyrie Irving, a sidekick once again, is the creative force that keeps defenses off balance and the Nets role players like Joe Harris and Blake Griffin are feeding off the energy Durant and Kyrie are creating. Hell, Griffin can dunk again! What has this world come to?
Meanwhile, the Bucks have looked like a shell of themselves against the offensive juggernaut that is Brooklyn. They basically gave up in Game 2 and, despite a late push in Game 1, haven't been competitive when it matters in either of the first two games. Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday are mired in shooting slumps and Giannis Antetokounmpo is once again left wondering how much more help he needs to compete for a title.
That's the team that's going to beat Brooklyn?
Maybe in Game 4 the Nets will take their foot off the gas, but not now. There's blood in the water after the Game 2 thrashing and the Nets can smell it. Durant is in a mode where you feel like he can't be stopped and the Nets clearly feel the same way. Don't expect the Bucks to be the ones that stop them in Game 3.