You think a hamstring or ankle injury is going to stop Kevin Durant or Giannis Antetokounmpo from playing today? Hell no. Like warriors staring across a battlefield at each other, these two superstars are ready to throw down in a critical war ahead of the big battle.
The Nets face the Bucks in Milwaukee today in a game with playoff-seeding implications and Durant (hamstring) and Giannis (ankle) are both expected to play. In fact, Vegas is expecting them to score big, with Giannis getting a slight advantage over Durant.
Durant's total points scored projection is set at 28.5 points on WynnBET, with the over a +100 underdog (bet $100 to win $100) to a -120 under (bet $100 to win $80). Basically Vegas is leaning toward Durant scoring 28 or fewer points.
Giannis has the same 28.5 point total, but his over/under player prop is the opposite. He's a -120 favorite to score 29 or more points and a +100 underdog to score 28 or fewer.
Durant missed the Nets' loss to the Blazers on Friday with the Nets limiting his playing time so he doesn't re-injure the hamstring that's been bothering him most of the year. The Nets are currently the top seed in the Eastern Conference, a half game up on the 76ers and 3.5 games up on the third-place Bucks.
Giannis also missed his team's Friday night game after rolling his ankle earlier this week. Like Durant, he is expected to play in this critical showdown.
The interesting thing is, you almost have to favor Durant to outscore Giannis. Durant has shot 65.4% from the field since returning from injury in early April and 61.3% from deep. He's also scored 33 or more in two of his last three games. He averages more points on the road (28.1) than at home (27.3).
Giannis, likewise, has scored 29 or more points in two of his last three, including the game where he injured his ankle and only played one minute. But because he's coming off a more recent injury, expect the Bucks to restrict his minutes. This ankle injury plagued him earlier this year and they won't want him playing his full minutes.
Who do you think scores more points tonight and will either score 29 or more? We're leaning Durant, especially based on the favorable odds, but either is capable of filling the stat sheet. Regardless, it's a fun question that could decide the outcome of this game.