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In Nets-Bucks series, a showdown that could reveal the future champion

The Brooklyn Nets host the Milwaukee Bucks tonight at 7:30 in the first game of the second round in the Eastern Conference series, but, as Jonathan Tjarks wrote yesterday in The Ringer, The KD vs. Giannis Showdown Could Define This Postseason.

In other words, these two teams might be each other's strongest opponent, with the Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo offering more defensive skills than others against the Nets' wizardly Kevin Durant. Writes Tjarks:
The problem is that Giannis is about to go up against another ace. Shutting down Butler and Durant are two completely different tasks. Durant hasn’t played against someone like Giannis in the playoffs, but Giannis hasn’t faced someone like him either. Butler is a good scorer who had one great playoff run. Durant has been carving up great teams in the playoffs his entire career. No one has ever been able to slow him down.
In the other direction:
The question for Brooklyn’s first-year head coach Steve Nash, just like for Budenholzer, is how much to put Durant on Giannis. KD has the length to at least bother the Milwaukee star, even if he doesn’t have the same strength or athleticism. Defense has always been an underrated part of his game.... The issue is that the 32-year-old Durant has put a lot of miles on his body since then....Durant has to win this matchup on guile and savvy. 
The bottom line is that, as Tjarks writes, Durant built the Nets with star playmakers, James Harden and Kyrie Irving, rather than interior defenders, and "Giannis has to make him regret that gamble. That’s the only way the Bucks can win this series." 

And going forward, this might be a rivalry for years.

By the way, as Brian Lewis wrote in the New York Post, surveys show... the Nets are now the league's most "hated" team, because their superstars--who chose the team via player "empowerment" and who have their own personality quirks--are polarizing.

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