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Extra Pass: Nets looking to spoil Bucks’ ring ceremony in season opener

October 19, 2021, 6:00 PM ● Jon Carlos Rodriguez

After losing to the Bucks in Game 7 of the East semifinal, Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets head back to Milwaukee for an exciting matchup to open the season.

We all remember what happened the last time these two teams met. Kevin Durant’s foot was just a bit too long; PJ Tucker was a dog on defense. 

Barely three months later, and here they are about to add another epic chapter to a brewing rivalry.

So what has changed since the last time? Many things. First, PJ Tucker took his lockdown D to South Beach. This hurts the Milwaukee Bucks more than they’ll admit. Tucker was a key piece in the structure of the team’s defense, the safety net that allowed the Jrue Holiday swipes and the Giannis Antetokounmpo blocks.

Without him, the Bucks defense won’t exactly be an open highway, but scorers may have an easier time going for a drive.

On the Brooklyn Nets side, two former San Antonio Spurs—returnee LaMarcus Aldridge and Patty Mills—will come in to help carry the load with Kevin Durant. James Harden, healthy and presumably hungrier, will also get another crack at the Bucks.

The biggest change for the Nets is the noise surrounding Kyrie Irving and whether or not he will play for them this season. Irving also didn’t make it to Milwaukee the last time, but at least that was a certainty. The big Kyrie cloud looming over the heads of the Nets will always be part of the conversation, and it could pose a challenge for Brooklyn.

For the Bucks, the biggest change is the taste of championship in their mouths. Will they get over the championship hangover? Are they hungry for more? 

Despite all these changes, some things remained the same. The Bucks are Tucker-less, but the core is still intact. Kevin Durant’s foot is still just a bit too long.

This simply means that tomorrow’s game (7:30 AM PHT on NBA League Pass) is a spillover from the first overtime of Game 7. As hoop fans, that’s all we could really ask for.

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