2021 Playoffs: East Semifinal | Nets (2) vs. Bucks (3)
Tune-In Tidbits: TNT Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Get ready for Game 5 between the Bucks and Nets on TNT with five key stats to know about the matchup.
Brian Martin, for NBA.com
• The Nets are 4-1 in five games with Kevin Durant in the lineup without Kyrie Irving and James Harden, who have both been ruled out for Game 5 (Update: Harden has been upgraded to questionable). The first three games came prior to the Nets acquiring Harden (Jan. 10-13), with the Nets going 2-1 and Durant averaging 32 points on 57.9% shooting. The most recent two games came in April (13th and 29th) and featured the Nets’ current supporting cast. The Nets won both games with Durant averaging 36.5 points on 69.2% shooting.
• In the playoffs, the Nets have played 33 minutes with Kevin Durant on court and Kyrie Irving and James Harden off the court. They have shot 41.8% from the field, 25% from 3-point range and been outscored by a total of three points. During the regular season, the Nets played 162 minutes with Durant on and Irving and Harden off, and shot 53% from the field, 43.2% from three and outscored opponents by a total of 49 points.
• In Milwaukee’s wins in Games 3 and 4, PJ Tucker was the primary defender on Kevin Durant for a total of 16:19 and allowed 27 points on 11-26 (42.3%) shooting from the field, 2-8 (25%) from 3-point range and only allowed four free throws, four assists and forced four turnovers. In Brooklyn’s wins in Games 1 and 2, Tucker defended Durant for 14:06 and allowed 22 points on 9-17 (52.9%) shooting from the field and 2-6 (33.3%) from 3-point range and allowed only two free throws, five assists and forced two turnovers.
• Khris Middleton got off to a tough start in this series, averaging 15 points on 13-43 (30.2%) shooting, including 3-13 (23.1%) from 3-point range in the first two games (both Bucks losses). However, over the past two games, Middleton has averaged 27 points on 19-40 (47.5%) shooting, including 6-14 (42.9%) from 3-point range, while playing 42.5 minutes per game.
• The Bucks shot 16-47 (34.0%) in their Game 4 win, which is still nearly five percentage points below their season average (38.9%, 5th in NBA), but it is a massive improvement from the first three games of the series, where the entire Bucks squad was in a collective slump from beyond the arc (20-88, 22.7%). A key to the turnaround was generating more open looks. In Games 1-3, the Bucks averaged 25.7 open 3s per game (closest defender at least four feet away). In Game 4, 43 of their 47 3-point attempts were open.