Brooklyn Nets vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 07:30 PM EDT at Fiserv Forum
The NBA season begins with a rematch of one of the closest, most exciting series from last year's NBA playoffs. The Milwaukee Bucks overcame the Brooklyn Nets in overtime of Game 7 to advance and eventually win the championship.
The Nets were not fully healthy in that series. Kyrie Irving and James Harden both missed significant time due to injuries. With the assumption that both players will return to full health, the Brooklyn Nets are the current favorite to win the title.
The Milwaukee Bucks are riding high after delivering a championship to their city. The Bucks made very few offseason moves and are bringing back the same roster that won the title last season.
They still have doubters, however, as many believe that if the Nets were fully healthy they would have beat the Bucks and moved on. So while most teams would be in a situation to be overconfident or pumped up by the media, the Bucks still feel like they have something to prove.
The Brooklyn Nets added Deandre Bembry, Patty Mills, and Paul Millsap. They also re-signed LaMarcus Aldridge and traded for Sekou Doumbouya and Jahlil Okafor. They traded James Johnson for Jevon Carter. Unfortunately for the Nets, none of these moves addressed where they lost the series to Milwaukee, in the rebounding category.
The Bucks shot a lower percentage in the series against the Nets, but due to second-chance points from superior offensive rebounding, they were able to overcome the Nets. For the Bucks winning the battle on the glass will be key. While we can safely assume that they will win that battle, the second half of the equation will be their three-point shooting.
Milwaukee had the lowest three-point percentage of any NBA champion since the Detroit Pistons in 2004. The Bucks will get second chance looks and wide-open 3-point opportunities. How well they convert both will be the key to their success.
The Bucks are a slight underdog in this game catching 1.5 points at (visit our Sportsbook Review). I will be betting the underdog in the situation as I believe the Bucks are undervalued at home. Many saw the Nets run roughshod over Milwaukee in Brooklyn the first two games of their recent playoff series and just assume that they are by far the better team when healthy.
This will be mitigated by a rocking Fiserv Forum where the Bucks fans will be out to celebrate their team and their championship. To get the champion as an underdog at home is a blessing. I'm taking the Bucks.
Guess who's back? Dwight Howard (#39) signed with the Lakers for a third stint with the team. Harry How/Getty Images/AFP
Golden State Warriors vs. L.A. Lakers
Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 10:00 PM EDT at Staples Center
The Los Angeles Lakers are favored by 4.5 points over the Golden State Warriors. The Lakers are excited at their opportunity to rebound from last season after an injury to Anthony Davis jettisoned their playoff hopes and they lost in the first round of the Phoenix Suns.
The extra time to rest will be beneficial for LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Newcomer Russell Westbrook will make his regular-season debut for the Lakers and I believe that he will be a huge help to this Los Angeles team.
The Golden State Warriors are looking at the end of their Championship window with Steph Curry. The Warriors are hoping that Klay Thompson returns healthy and that their two rookie draft picks Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody are able to make a huge impact for the team.
Klay Thompson will not play in this game however as he is still nursing an injury, so the team will be similar to the one last year that failed to make the playoffs. Kuminga and Moody are fantastic prospects and I think the Warriors did well to strengthen the team with their additions, but I don’t expect them to be key contributors in the first game.
The Warriors played the Lakers close in their play-in game last season, but this is a revamped Lakers team. Anthony Davis missed that game and with Russell Westbrook, the Lakers have three elite options to create opportunities on the offensive end.
The Lakers added plenty of shooters as well and should be able to keep up with the Warriors in the 3-point shooting department.
The Lakers have plenty to prove in their season debut and I expect them to cover the 4.5 points. While the Warriors will be a threat to anyone by the end of the season, expecting them to gel so quickly with the young roster is far-fetched. With the leadership of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers will defeat the Warriors on the glass. With their new additions, they can keep up with them in shooting as well.
NBA pick: (visit our Sportsbook Review)
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.