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Sport Bucks celebrate 2021 NBA championship, then handle Nets to open title defense

06:15  20 october  2021
06:15  20 october  2021 Source:   usatoday.com

Report: Nets losing confidence Kyrie Irving will get vaccinated

  Report: Nets losing confidence Kyrie Irving will get vaccinated Nets general manager Sean Marks said he was confident all Brooklyn players would meet New York City's vaccine mandate as training camp opened. © Provided by NBC Sports But the Nets returned to practice in Brooklyn today, and Kyrie Irving – who’s reportedly unvaccinated – didn’t participate. If he remains unvaccinated without an exemption, he won’t be allowed to play Nets home games.

The Nets have been part of the NBA off-season’s biggest drama with the loss of Irving for refusing to have a Covid-19 vaccination. City regulations in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco forbid attending large indoor public gatherings without being vaccinated, meaning Irving The Lakers have surrounded James and Anthony Davis with a new collection of talent, including Russell Westbrook, Dwight Howard, Rajon Rondo, Trevor Ariza, Malik Monk, Kendrick Nunn and Carmelo Anthony. The hope is to try and recapture the magic that produced a championship in the Covid-19 bubble last year.

MILWAUKEE — A Nets team expected to win the NBA title opens this season Tuesday against the Bucks squad that ended its run last season. And to rub some salt in that still-fresh wound, the Nets are going to have to watch Milwaukee celebrate getting the championship rings they thought would be theirs. The Nets ’ loss in that overtime sent them home for the season and propelled the Bucks on to the championship . It’s a title they’ll celebrate Tuesday, getting their bling in front of a nationwide audience (7:30 p.m., TNT) and a Nets team that could be even further inspired by watching.

The Milwaukee Bucks picked up their rings for the 2021 NBA championship season on Tuesday and, even after the adrenaline of the celebration wore off, showed they are more than equipped to win the next one.

In a matchup between two teams heavily favored to contend for the Eastern Conference title in 2021-22, Milwaukee rode the celebratory wave through most of the first half and then soldiered through the second half for a mostly comfortable 127-104 victory over the Brooklyn Nets in the first game of the NBA season.

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  Kyrie Irving cleared to practice at Nets facility Shams Charania:

2021 NBA Championship Ring. By the Numbers. Under the ownership of Jamie Dinan, Wes Edens, Mike Fascitelli and Marc Lasry the Milwaukee Bucks have notched 360 total victories. The first regular season victory – on Nov. 2, 2015 – was a 103-96 win on the road against the Brooklyn Nets . The most-recent win was on July 20, 2021 , when the Bucks defeated the Phoenix Suns in Game 6 of the 2021 NBA Finals.

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Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 32 points with 14 rebounds and seven assists, and Khris Middleton added 20 points and nine boards on a night when the third member of their star triumvirate, Jrue Holiday, left late in the first half with a heel contusion and did not return.

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Holiday's absence opened the door for second-year player Jordan Nwora, whose busy night included 27 minutes, 15 points and a fourth-quarter block of Kevin Durant that transitioned into a 3-pointer on the other end.

Durant, whose infamous toe on the line allowed the Bucks to win in overtime in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals in June, started quietly but finished with 32 points and 11 rebounds, plus four assists.

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Giannis Antetokounmpo chases another title , the Brooklyn Nets move on without Kyrie Irving and LeBron James unveils his new supporting cast when the 2021 -22 NBA season begins Tuesday. © Patrick McDermott Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo will try to lead his club to consecutive NBA titles in the 2021 -22 season that tips off Tuesday. The NBA 's 75th anniversary campaign tips off with the Brooklyn Nets at Milwaukee as NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) Antetokounmpo and the rest of the Bucks raise the club's first championship banner since 1971.

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Newly signed Patty Mills (21 points) hit all seven of his shots from 3-point range to help the Nets linger. James Harden was limited to 6-of-16 shooting and closed with 20 points along with eight boards and eight assists.

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Milwaukee's lead was a healthy 19 points with less than five minutes to go before half (and still a 13-point lead when Holiday departed), but the Nets closed the quarter on a 16-5 run to pull within 66-59 at the break. The Nets shot 54% in the first half and 58% from 3-point range, but the Bucks were able to drop those percentages after the break.

Nwora made the most if his floor time, closing with six rebounds alongside his 6-of-13 shooting effort. Holiday finished with 12 points in 18 minutes on 5-of-7 shooting.

With so many familiar faces back from the 2021 championship squad, the only true newcomer who figured to see major minutes was Grayson Allen, who started and scored 10 points in 28 minutes. His steal against Harden led into a Nwora 3-pointer with just over eight minutes left, spotting the Bucks a 106-93 lead that felt like a final blow.

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Giannis Antetokounmpo chases another title , the Brooklyn Nets move on without Kyrie Irving and LeBron James unveils his new supporting cast when the 2021 -22 NBA season begins Tuesday. The NBA ’s 75th anniversary campaign tips off with the Brooklyn Nets at Milwaukee as NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) Antetokounmpo and the rest of the Bucks raise the club’s first championship banner since 1971.

The 2021 -22 NBA season is upon us and it's time to get out the crystal ball and look ahead to what the 75th Anniversary season will have in store. 10 of Sporting News’ NBA writers and editors weighed in with their season predictions. For individual awards, voters were asked to submit a top three for each © Provided by Sporting News Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving. Nine members of our 10-person panel picked the Nets to come out of the East with a lone holdout riding with the defending champion Bucks . Regardless of last year’s title and Giannis Antetokounmpo’s ascent to legendary

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 32 points in the Bucks' season-opening win. © Michael McLoone, USA TODAY Sports Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 32 points in the Bucks' season-opening win.

George Hill, who wasn't with the Bucks last year but certainly counts as a familiar face, was limited to just one point on 0-of-3 shooting. But Pat Connaughton again showcased the ability that made him so dangerous off the bench in the 2021 postseason, hitting 9-of-13 shots and landing on 20 points.

Antetokounmpo missed his first three shots, although he rebounded the last of those to record the first Bucks points of the new season. When he threw down a wide-open dunk thanks to Middleton's rifled football-pass assist from Brooklyn's paint, it was 15-8, Fiserv Forum was rocking, and the Nets had to call timeout with 7:14 to go in the opening quarter.

When Antetokounmpo hit his first 3-pointer of the season (he finished 1-of-4 from behind the arc), Milwaukee's lead swelled to 18-8. After he swatted away his first block on the ensuing possession, Connaughton finished it off with another triple to give the Bucks a 21-8 edge.

Even after Brooklyn pulled to within five points with 10:07 left in the first half, Nwora responded with a triple on the other end, the first points of a 16-3 run that put the Bucks comfortably in control for the moment.

If national writers' predictions come to pass, this certainly won't be the last high-profile matchup between the two sides, with the defending-champion Bucks and talent-rich Nets seen as a clear-cut top two in the conference.

This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Bucks celebrate 2021 NBA championship, then handle Nets to open title defense

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The NBA power structure isn't exactly following expectations after the first weekWell, if the first week is any indication, that is certainly not the case for this season. The preseason championship favorite Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers are both off to subpar starts, while teams like the Chicago Culls, Charlotte Hornets, Minnesota Timberwolves and Washington Wizards find themselves among the league's best after a little over a week of competition.

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