The Brooklyn Nets came close to clinching a spot in the Eastern Conference Finals for the 2021 NBA Playoffs, but fell short in Game 7 against the Milwaukee Bucks. Even after forcing overtime, the Nets fell 111-115, marking one of their most depressing losses in the playoffs thus far.
The Milwaukee Bucks ended the Brooklyn Nets’ unbeaten home record in the 2021 NBA playoffs with the victory. It was also a night to remember, as the Bucks won their first Game 7 on the road in franchise history.
Early in the game, Bruce Brown’s return to the starting lineup paid off handsomely, as he set hard screens for Kevin Durant. Brown finished the first half with eleven points and three assists. The Brooklyn Nets, on the other hand, slowed down as they relied solely on Kevin Durant for productivity.
Khris Middleton has struggled on the road in this series and continued to do so in the first half, going 2 of 11 for the game. He did, though, turn things around in the second. Middleton redeemed himself late in overtime by making the shot that gave the Milwaukee Bucks the lead.
Khris Middleton with a BIG shot 🥶 pic.twitter.com/FGhdtam6dy— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 20, 2021
Both teams registered 20 lead changes. But the Brooklyn Nets super team failed to close out the game despite holding the lead with one minute left on the clock.
On that note, let’s take a look at five reasons why the Brooklyn Nets lost against the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference Semi-finals.
#1 The Brooklyn Nets were dominated by the Milwaukee Bucks on the offensive glass
It is unclear why Steve Nash left DeAndre Jordan on the bench throughout the series and decided to play small. The Brooklyn Nets were punished for that by the Milwaukee Bucks and were dominated in the paint.
We love you, Nets World 🖤🤍 pic.twitter.com/gErnAdNrgX— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) June 20, 2021
Although Bruce Brown showed impressive hustle play and rebounding despite being 6' 4" tall, he was no match for Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez. The total rebound tally was close, 48-46 in favor of the Milwaukee Bucks. But that was because Lopez spent a fair amount of time on the perimeter, and Antetokounmpo was attempting 3s.
Nevertheless, the Milwaukee Bucks did a great job getting second-chance buckets as they finished the game with 18 offensive rebounds compared to the Brooklyn Nets' 11.
#2 Joe Harris' shooting struggle continues for the Brooklyn Nets
Joe Harris was the perfect catch-and-shoot player for the Brooklyn Nets, as he created an option outside of the big three. The idea was to give him the ball, as there was a likelihood that he would open when one of Durant, Harden or Kyrie Irving was double-teamed.
The strategy worked great in the regular season and in the first-round series against the Boston Celtics. Unfortunately, Harris lost his touch heading into the series against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Harris looked like he was returning to his groove early in the game as he knocked down a shot to open his scoring. However, he failed to keep up with that start as he finished the game with ten points, going 3 of 9 from beyond the arc.