Tonight’s NBA action sees two series that are at a knife’s edge, with the Bucks returning home down 0-2 and the Clippers looking to even things up after dropping game one. If you are looking for the winner of both of tonight’s games our NBA picks have just what you need!
Read on below to find out who we have selected in our NBA picks for Thursday, June 10th!
Brooklyn Nets @ Milwaukee Bucks (Game 3) – 7:30pm EDT
The Milwaukee Bucks return home, for the first time in 16 days, facing a 2-0 deficit and scrambling for answers. The Brooklyn Nets have taken complete control of this series, winning game two in convincing fashion. Despite James Harden being in street clothes, Brooklyn thrived on both ends of the floor, winning 125-86.
Milwaukee’s ‘Big Three’ of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday, who haven’t played ‘big’ so far this series, combined for just 48 points and eight assists, shooting 21/45 (46.7%) from the floor. This sort of effort from your three best players, who are supposed to lead you to a championship, is simply unacceptable.
Middleton has been the biggest worry of the three, averaging just 15 points through the first two games while shooting a combined 13/43 (30.2%) from the field and going just 3/13 from deep. If he is unable to get going offensively, then the Bucks simply stand no chance against the firepowered Brooklyn offense.
Nets demolish the Bucks, 125-86 😳
32 PTS (12-18 FG)
6 AST pic.twitter.com/GtmzgHxSOp
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 8, 2021
Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving took control of the game and put this one away early, scoring 54 points and dishing out 12 assists as a duo. As you can see, the two stars outscored Milwaukee’s top three by six points and had four more assists, highlighting the difference in level of play between the two sides.
Durant continues to stamp his authority all over whatever game he takes part in, dominating game two in every aspect. The former MVP finished with a game high 32 points, shooting 66.7% from the field and 4/6 from deep, while adding four rebounds, six assists, a steal and a block.
With Harden being ruled out again for tonight’s game, Brooklyn knows they have enough to compete and win comfortably against this weaker Milwaukee offense, but the big difference here is the change of scenery. The Nets are now a perfect 5-0 at home during the playoffs, but just 1-1 on the road, while the Bucks are 2-0 in Milwaukee. The Bucks have to give more effort and put up a better shooting performance than they have so far, especially in front of their fans at home.
While we said this in the last game, and it ended horrifically bad for us and the Bucks, Milwaukee has the perfect opportunity to get on the board in this series, at home and without Harden lining up. Giannis is a very proud player and won’t be happy with how he has played so far this series, and how he has been outplayed by Durant as well. We expect a much better showing, because if the Bucks lose this, the series is done.
Los Angeles Clippers @ Utah Jazz (Game 2) – 10pm EDT
After trailing by as many as 14 in the first half, the league-leading Utah Jazz used a 32-19 third quarter to take game one in their intense series with the Los Angeles Clippers. Giving up leads seems to be something of a habit for the Clippers, but it was a spectacular second half from Donovan Mitchell that broke the game open for the home side.
Sitting on just 13 points at halftime and his team trailing 47-60, Mitchell got in a rhythm and LA had no answers. He scored 10 points in the first 2:17 of the third quarter, while the Clippers scored just two points over that stretch, bringing the Jazz back into the game. Mitchell ended up with 32 points after the main break, finishing with 45 for the game.
All of this was needed as Utah were without Mike Conley (hamstring) for the game and Royce O’Neal, Joe Ingles and Georges Niang combining for just 2/14 from deep. Thankfully Bojan Bogdanovic and Jordan Clarkson chipped in with 18 points apiece, while newly crowned Defensive Player of the Year, Rudy Gobert, had 10 points, 12 boards and two blocks, one of which was the game sealer.
Donovan Mitchell recorded his 4th career 40-pt playoff game in Game 1 vs the Clippers, tying Karl Malone for the most 40-pt playoff games in Jazz history.
This was Mitchell’s 28th playoff game for Utah. Malone’s 4th 40-pt effort came in his 149th playoff game for the Jazz. pic.twitter.com/T2rvOBCZpF
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 9, 2021
While Utah got the win, the Clippers have to be feeling relatively confident about their chances of winning the series. Mitchell put up a 32 point half while Paul George shot just 4/17 (23.5%) from the field and LA only lost by three points and had a chance to tie it on the buzzer.
Kawhi Leonard was the top man for the Clippers but managed just 23 points for the game, well down from his 32 point average from the opening round series against Dallas. In fact, the spark came from a source that no one would have expected, Luke Kennard, who played just 29 minutes in the entire opening round. Kennard came on to the floor and was lights out, shooting 7/9 from the floor and 4/6 from deep for 18 points.
Kennard’s offensive punch was clearly needed by the Clippers but his lack of defensive quickness and nuisance allowed Utah to take advantage on the other end and thrive in the second half. What is even better for the Jazz, Mike Conley has been upgraded to questionable, and if he is able to take the floor, their chances increase exponentially.
While the Clippers could have, and should have won game one, they had their chances and didn’t take them. The Jazz took theirs in the second half, in front of a loud, packed house and we don’t see anything changing in this one. It will be a tough game, but Utah’s volume of three point shooting and team-first play will get them over the line yet again.
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.
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