The Knights’ 119-115 win at the box office on Friday night was a pure pre-season match, not close to any of their classic play-off series last June. But the teams are building the best hostility in the Eastern Conference, and one of the best in the entire NBA.
Schedulers know that. That’s why the Nets will open the season in Milwaukee on October 19, with the ruling Champions Box vs. Team in their favor. And this pre-season game marked the first time the Nets had played at the Barclays Center as they suffered a hard-fought 7-overtime loss from the box in the semi-finals of the conference.
“There’s a chance the feud will escalate,” net head coach Steve Nash said before the game. But for a series so close, then to win the NBA Championship, the top two teams in the East, I think it has enough legs to create animosity. But I don’t think you’ll see much animosity. [Friday]. ”
Not with Carrie Irving’s missing net due to vaccine mandate and Paul Millsip due to health and safety protocol. Milwaukee had an even bigger thread, which included nine players – including Gianz Antitoconpo, Jarrow Holiday and Chris Middleton.
Last season’s playoff clash was an instant classic that sowed the seeds of animosity. Durant’s positional match-up with Antitoconampo (both former MVPs) watered those seeds, as Irving’s season ended when he sprained his ankle during Game 4 of the series while at the feet of Greek Freak. Descended
On Friday night, Durant scored 18 points, six rebounds and three assists in more than 23 minutes in his pre-season debut. James Harden – who suffered a Grade 2 hamstring injury game 1 in the second round, lost most of the series and spent most of the off-season recovery – looked rusty in his first pre-season action.
Harden, who was out of the opening win in Sunday’s pre-season, scored eight points in a nine-for-three shootout with four assists and three turnovers vs. Bucks.
But as much as the sloppy box was with his ball handling (20 turnovers), the nets were worse than his rotations. He stepped up to the plate for stealing Jeevan Carter and taking a 23-11 lead over the layup for some of the early steals. But their communication was lacking and their defense was one step slower.
Jordan Nova highlighted Milwaukee with 30 points, while Elijah Bryant and Seattle Hall product Sandro Mamukilashvili added 20 points.
Nate led 98-95, when Nash pulled his experienced second unit. Milwaukee went 14-4 on the edge of 109-102, but the youngsters of the net showed some enthusiasm.
Kim Thomas’ 19-foot lead put the net ahead 112-111 with one minute left and after losing 3 points to Mamuklasholi, Thomas drilled himself for a four-point cushion with half a minute. What The net never backed down.
Signs of this emerging hostility? There, Milwaukee’s Thenas was sending Antitoconpo (Gian’s brother) to Dendre. Thanas tried to help him, but Bembry rejected the gesture and even removed Bucks’ hand when he offered an apology.
“I think [the rivalry] Relatively new. To meet in the playoffs, it was an incredible series. Both teams go overtime to give up everything in Game 7. “A lot of respect for the players, the coaches, the whole organization. We hope to be a team competing for the best in the East and the best in the NBA, and I know that is the expectation for Brooklyn.
“As you play in the regular season, these games probably mean a little more to their players, to our players, to the fans, to everyone. But you have to take them as soon as they come. It doesn’t change that much. But there is only a ton of respect. Usually animosity starts with this kind of respect. We are waiting for them to play. We have a lot of respect for their abilities and what they do.