NBA on TNT analyst Shaquille O’Neal picks the Milwaukee Bucks to defeat the Brooklyn Nets in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.
Entering the 2020-2021 campaign, a Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant-led Brooklyn Nets team was surely one of the strong favorites to win the title this year. A couple of pivotal additions like James Harden and Blake Griffin instantly made it the Nets championship to lose.
Up until the playoffs, we hadn’t really seen the Harden, Durant, Irving trio play a lot on the court together. However, their first round of the playoffs has been near perfect, beating Jayson Tatum and his Jaylen Brown-less Boston Celtics team 4-1.
Steve Nash’s side will now go ahead and battle it out with Giannis Antetokounmpo and his Milwaukee Bucks team in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Considered to be a very action-packed series, both teams will be entering their matchup with good momentum.
“I’m picking Milwaukee Bucks because of their defense”: Shaquille O’Neal
Giannis Antetokounmpo and co. look to be in real form. Sweeping last year’s finalists Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs, the Bucks can’t be so easily ruled out of their clash with Brooklyn. With the new addition of veteran Jute Holiday, the team looks more balanced than ever.
With analysts like Skip Bayless picking the stacked team of Brooklyn to emerge victoriously, Shaquille O’Neal, one of many, has faith in Giannis and Milwaukee to upset the Nets. During the “NBA on TNT” show, the Hall-Of-Famer credited the Bucks’ defence as their advantage. Shaq explained himself:
“Both teams play fast, both teams can score but one team doesn’t have lockdown defence. One team can’t say two or three minutes we’re going to lock somebody down. That’s why I’m leaning a bit toward Milwaukee.
“Listen, three guys in Brooklyn, they will do what they do, Giannis and co. will do what they do. But, I think when it comes time to lock down and your team being in that lockdown mentality, Milwaukee has the edge on that.”
Whether the Bucks beat the Nets with their defence or not, we surely are in for one action-packed thriller of a series. Despite being considered as the underdogs, the Bucks will be playing with a lot of expectations to meet.