The most evenly contested matchup of the 2021 NBA Playoffs is set to come to a close on Saturday night with the Brooklyn Nets hosting the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 7. The home side has won each of the six previous games in this Eastern Conference Semifinals series so far, so that would give the Nets a mental edge.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton combined for 68 points to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a win in Game 6. The duo became the third set of teammates in NBA Playoffs history to score 30 points apiece in an elimination game. They'll be hoping to recreate that performance tonight.
The Brooklyn Nets' fate rests largely on Kevin Durant's shoulders. KD has averaged 33.3 points, 10.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists in this series so far. James Harden has been able to impact proceedings with his playmaking, but his hamstring is clearly not good enough for him to move and score effectively.
Milwaukee Bucks Injury Report
Donte DiVincenzo is still the only noticeable name to miss out for the Milwaukee Bucks. DiVincenzo suffered a torn ligament in his left ankle against the Miami Heat and was ruled out for the rest of the playoffs. Jordan Nwora also misses out due to a left thigh contusion, but his absence won't impact the Bucks' rotation.
Brooklyn Nets Injury Report
Kyrie Irving has been ruled out with a right ankle sprain well in advance for a third straight game. Irving suffered the injury after landing on Giannis Antetokounmpo's foot while attempting a shot during Game 4. Spencer Dinwiddie (partially torn ACL) is the only other player to miss out for the Brooklyn Nets.
Milwaukee Bucks vs Brooklyn Nets: Predicted Lineups
The Milwaukee Bucks will keep the same starting five that they've used throughout this series. Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton will start in the backcourt, while PJ Tucker will resume his duty of guarding Kevin Durant. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez will play closer to the basket.
The Milwaukee Bucks have largely relied on their starting five, with Pat Connaughton being the only reserve to play over 20 minutes in each of the last three games. Bryn Forbes is also set to get a few minutes. Thanasis Antetokounmpo will continue to feature during end-of-quarter possessions.
Despite not being fully fit, James Harden will start again for the Brooklyn Nets and will likely play over 40 minutes. Joe Harris will slot beside Harden to complete the backcourt. Kevin Durant, Jeff Green and Blake Griffin will complete the starting lineup.
The Brooklyn Nets can also rely on Landry Shamet's scoring ability. Bruce Brown played only four minutes in Game 6, but he's capable of making crucial plays on both ends of the court.
Milwaukee Bucks vs Brooklyn Nets: Predicted Starting 5s
Point Guard - Jrue Holiday l Shooting Guard - Khris Middleton l Small Forward - PJ Tucker l Power Forward - Giannis Antetokounmpo l Center - Brook Lopez
Point Guard - James Harden l Shooting Guard - Joe Harris l Small Forward - Kevin Durant l Power Forward - Jeff Green l Center - Blake Griffin