Brooklyn Nets
125

Milwaukee Bucks
129

Basketball

ByTheMinNBA

Welcome to By The Minute's coverage of today's NBA clash between Brooklyn Nets and the visiting Milwaukee Bucks. A big game for the Bucks who will want to turn their previous two wins into a three win streak. Ranked 9th in the East (24 wins - 30 losses), they sit two games behind the 8th ranked Detroit Pistons, whom they beat two days ago, 102-89.

With Jabari Parker now out with a long term knee injury, the return of Khris Middleton from his own torn hamstring is vital for Milwaukee's push to the playoffs. An excellent scorer, he will keep add to the depth that this roster has. Averaging 18 minutes across his 3 games so far this season, Middleton has put up 7.3 points, 3.66 assists, 1.66 rebounds and 1 steal per game.

However, the major difference in this contest will be the presence of Giannis Antetokounmpo. His all-round play this season has been phenomenal and he ranks high among the league's offensive and defensive stat columns. His season has gone as follows: 23.2 points (16th in NBA), 8.6 rebounds (20th), 5.5 assists (27th), 1.7 steals (14th) and 2 blocks (7th) per game.

For the 9 win - 46 loss Nets, they come into this one looking to snap a 13 game losing streak. Despite the poor season, two past first round picks in Rondae Hollis-Jefferson in 2015 (7.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists per game) and Caris LeVert in 2016 (7.1 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.8 assist per game) have been positives. These two youngsters look to be the genesis of the Nets future.

The Net's centrepiece Brook Lopez and his future with the organization remains clouded going into the game with Milwaukee with rumours suggesting a trade is almost done. Per ESPN sources, the deal being tabled is for Lopez to go to New Orleans in exchange for Tyreke Evans, Tim Frazier, Langston Galloway and a 2018 first round pick. The question remains as to how long he will remain a Net.

The key to this one for the Nets is Bojan Bogdanovic (14.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game). The 6'8 forward from Croatia has improved his inside game since the 2016 Rio olympics and is getting to the rim with ease. However, his long heralded 3 point shooting has fallen by the wayside. For the Nets to overcome the Bucks, he'll need to play the complete scoring game

That being said, the depth of Milwaukee's bench should be too much for Brooklyn to handle. Prediction: Milwaukee by 12.

Starting Line Ups for each team: Brooklyn: Dinwiddie, Foye, Bogdanovic, Hollis-Jefferson, Lopez Milwaukee: Dellavedova, Snell, Antetokounmpo, Beasley, Maker

Tip off goes to the Nets but they immediately cough it up. Dellavedova is fouled by Foye on a drive to the hoop. Shooting 2, he makes 1/2 Milwaukee 1 Brooklyn 0

Bogdanovic is fouled on his way up and IT'S GOOD! He duly coverts the And-1 Milwaukee 1 Brooklyn 3