Preview and pick for the Nets and Bucks NBA playoff game
With both James Harden and Kyrie Irving out of action with injuries, the Brooklyn Nets find themselves a home underdog to the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 5 of their NBA Eastern Conference playoff series.
And what many people envision is that this represents an opportunity for Milwaukee's two-time league MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo, to run wild.
Will that indeed be the case?
That will be the subject of one of the hundreds of prop bets that are offered at BetOnline, which is home to some of the most intense basketball prop bets on the Web.
The game gets underway at 8:35 PM ET at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
In the NBA playoff odds, the Bucks are laying 4.5 points on the road, with a total of 217.5 points.
But let's focus on Giannis for purposes of this discussion.
As a guy who can pretty much do it all, the Points+Rebounds+Assists proposition (which, for simplicity, we'll refer to as "PRA") is quite appropriate to look at.
And for him in Game 5, it looks like this:
Over 51.5 PRA -114
Under 51.5 PRA -114
We should mention that this figure has remained pretty consistent throughout the series.
In the first four games of this best-of-seven, Giannis has averaged 29.8 points, 12 rebounds and 3.3 assists. That totals 45.1, which falls short of this number, so right away you know that if you are looking to go "over" the total, you've have to have some special justification for doing so.
Well, do you?
Well, if you think that the absence of Harden and/or Irving carves out the path a little easier, well, think about whether those guys would normally be the ones charged with thwarting Giannis on the defensive end. And for that, we think not.
Maybe you could make the assertion that because Kevin Durant might assume the responsibility of producing more offense, that would take away from his ability to deal with Giannis when he has to defend. Okay, we would allow that argument into evidence.
The fact is, the Nets would really love for Giannis to shoot more from three-point range, considering that he's gone just 4 of 21 in his long distance attempts. You have to imagine that, at the very least, the Brooklyn defensive effort will be geared up to push him to the outside.
And he has shown almost no accuracy from the free throw line, making just eleven out of 29 from the charity stripe. So he's leaving points on the table.
This PRA over-under assumes that he will reach much higher accuracy levels at the line and from the arc.
Milwaukee has dealt itself a better hand in this series by getting more defensive and slowing the pace just a bit. They obviously have been helped by the Brooklyn injuries, although the Nets won the first two games more or less without Harden.
The Nets, having been robbed of some offense, will have to counter by getting more defensive themselves. That may mean giving DeAndre Jordan some playing time in the middle and in general going to a lineup that can supply some bulk.
The whole thing is going to be geared toward cutting off ways for Giannis to attack the hoop.
They may not succeed enough to come away with a victory, but they ought to do well enough to keep Giannis UNDER this PRA number, as he has been for each of the first four games.
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