It’s the Milwaukee Bucks vs. Brooklyn Nets Tuesday night in the 2021 NBA season opener. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday are expected to lead the way once again for the reigning NBA champs as they get ready to celebrate their title by opening up the new NBA year at home. Meanwhile, the focus remains on the Nets and their situation. James Harden and Kevin Durant are set to make an impact once again for Brooklyn. However, the team is currently without Kyrie Irving, who remains unvaccinated and is not with the team. Nets vs. Bucks NBA season opener 2021: Live stream, start time, TV, how to watch
Watch NBA Live: https://bigsportslive.com/nba/
What time does the game start? Where can I watch it on TV? – Wednesday night’s game will kick off at 7:30 p.m. EST for viewers in the U.S and will air on TV via TNT (Channel finder: Verizon | AT&T | Comcast | Spectrum/Charter | Optimum/Altice | DIRECTV | Dish | Hulu | Sling.)
Live steam options: WatchTNT | Sling – Viewers who have cable can use login credentials from their TV provider to watch via WatchTNT or the TNT app. Fans who don’t have cable can also watch the game with a la carte streaming options such as Sling, which is $10 a month to start.
The Milwaukee Bucks sure didn’t get much time to celebrate their first NBA championship n a half-century.
Just three months after Giannis Antetokoumpo’s 50-point performance secured a title-clinching victory over the Phoenix Suns in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, the Bucks will be raising their championship banner and beginning a new season on Oct. 19.
The offseason was particularly brief for Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday, who left for Tokyo shortly after the championship parade and won gold medals with the U.S. Olympic team.
“It was crazy,” Holiday said.
They got just a little time to come home and rest before beginning the process of trying to repeat. They realize the necessity of maintaining the same tenacity that helped carry them to the franchise’s first championship since 1971.
The Bucks open the season against the Brooklyn Nets, who would have eliminated them in the second round of the 2021 playoffs if Kevin Durant’s foot hadn’t crept across the 3-point arc while making a shot in Game 7.
“It’s a challenge,” Middleton said. “I think we have to find a way to stay hungry, not be satisfied by what we accomplished last year, to find a way to do it again.”
Throughout their championship run, the Bucks were driven by their past postseason failures. The Bucks no longer have that as incentive but say they’ll remain as motivated as ever.
“Teams are going to be coming for us,” Antetokounmpo said. “But we have to have that hunter mentality ourselves.”
Milwaukee returned most of the key players from last season, though P.J. Tucker left for the Miami Heat and Bryn Forbes rejoined the San Antonio Spurs. They added Grayson Allen, Semi Ojeleye and George Hill to their bench.
That depth could be tested.
The Bucks may need to monitor their top players early in the season because they had so little rest during this abbreviated offseason.
Antetokounmpo, who hyperextended his left knee in the Eastern Conference finals, says he feels good but will be careful with his knee early in the season. The Bucks also must make sure they don’t overwork Holiday and Middleton after their busy offseason.
“They’re usually pretty good at being able to read guys and their bodies,” Holiday said. “Not only that, they’re good at maintenance and maintaining.”
Milwaukee hopes preaching caution early leads to another memorable finish.
“It was a storybook ending for us, right?” guard Pat Connaughton said. “But stories have sequels. Stories have trilogies. At the end of the day, it’s about continuing the next story, continuing the next book.”
The Bucks are banking on a successful return from Donte DiVincenzo, who tore a left ankle ligament in a first-round playoff series with Miami and missed the rest of the postseason. DiVincenzo started 66 games and averaged 10.4 points last season. The Bucks haven’t announced when they expect DiVincenzo to play again.
Allen didn’t exactly get a warm reception from local fans when the Bucks acquired him from Memphis during the offseason. They remember how Allen ruined Wisconsin’s national championship dreams by scoring 16 points as Duke beat the Badgers 68-63 in the 2015 NCAA Tournament final.
“When I was first traded, 30 minutes later, I would say about 80% of my mentions were angry Wisconsin fans not happy I was coming to Milwaukee,” Allen said.
This marks Hill’s second stint in Milwaukee. He played for the Bucks from 2018-20 and provided quality 3-point shooting off the bench before getting included in the four-team trade that brought Holiday to Milwaukee.
“They had to make that trade to get a guy like Jrue, which is a no-brainer in every situation,” Hill said. “He’s the best point guard in the league in many people’s eyes. There’s no hard feelings.”
Hill also was one of the leaders of the Bucks’ 2020 protest in the bubble that led to a temporary postponement of NBA playoff games.
PUTTING UP POINTS
The Bucks are coming off a season in which they scored 120.1 points per game. That made them the NBA’s highest-scoring team since 1983-84, when the Denver Nuggets and San Antonio Spurs both exceeded that average.
FAMILIAR TERRITORY FOR BUDENHOLZER
Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer knows the demands involved in trying to win a second straight NBA title. Budenholzer was part of four NBA championship teams with San Antonio while working as an assistant on Gregg Popovich’s staff from 1996-2013. Those Spurs teams never won back-to-back titles.
“You acknowledge that, yes, it is different,” Budenholzer said. “There are going to be things that are a little bit unique following a championship. But there’s going to be a lot of things that are very much the same – the competitive nature of the league, the way people are going to come after you. I think our players always embrace that competition and the need to kind of raise to that level.”
The 2021-22 NBA season starts off in style as the defending champions take on one of the biggest threats to their throne.
2021 NBA Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks begin their title defense on Opening Night when they host Kevin Durant and the Nets. The teams take the floor to meet one another exactly four months after an epic Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals in which Antetokounmpo and Durant each put on virtuoso performances to lead their teams, with the Bucks just edging the Nets in overtime.
While Giannis will have the benefit of playing alongside two star teammates Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton, KD will only be joined by James Harden as the Nets announced that superstar guard Kyrie Irving will not be allowed to join the team until he is “eligible to be a full participant” with respect to New York City rules surrounding individuals unvaccinated for COVID-19.
Irving might not be able to take the floor, but having a duo of two of the league’s top 10 players in Durant and Harden is still nothing short of impressive. Will those two be enough to spoil the Bucks’ ring night festivities? Here’s what you need to know about how to watch Nets vs. Bucks on the NBA’s Opening Night.