Forget the Manhattan Knicks, Brooklyn has become the city’s center of gravity for a National Basketball Association championship.
That after the Brooklyn Nets coasted to a 115-107 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday in game one of the Eastern Conference semifinals, inching the squad one win closer to an NBA Championship.
Even with an injury just 45 seconds into the game to star guard James Harden, the Nets were able to get a decisive victory on the backs of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Blake Griffin.
The Nets, behind their star power and explosive offense, are the favorites among the eight remaining teams in the NBA Playoffs. Their play has instilled confidence that the NBA Championship will come home to Brooklyn this season.
“I’m already mapping out the parade route which would obviously be on Flatbush,” said Council Member and candidate for Brooklyn Borough President Robert Cornegy Jr.
A similar sentiment is shared by current mayor Bill de Blasio.
“History is about to be made. The Brooklyn Nets are going to go all the way, bring a championship to Brooklyn for the first time since the 1950’s,” said Mayor de Blasio in a video posted to Twitter.
Excitement is rising in the city over a possible Nets championship. No major professional team in New York City has won a championship in any sport since the New York Giants won in 2012. The Nets certainly have the talent to change that.
The Bucks shot poorly in game 1 but reigning two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo still had 34 points and 11 rebounds. “The Greek Freak,” as he is often referred to, has dominated the Nets in the interior all season due to his length and athleticism. However, the Nets historical offense was able to lead them past the Bucks in game 1.
Kevin Durant finished with 29 points and 10 rebounds and Kyrie Irving finished with 25 points. Blake Griffin chipped in 18 points and sharpshooter Joe Harris scored 19. The Nets’ well-balanced attack proved to be too much for the Bucks.
Harden will not be playing in game 2 due hamstring tightness, which will be taking place tonight at the Barclays Center. Harden already missed 18 games earlier this season to the same hamstring issue.
The Bucks are already a tough matchup and if Harden misses multiple games, it could make this series much more difficult for Brooklyn to pull out. This series could very well be the toughest the Nets will face in their road to the finals.
There are still tickets available for tonight’s game, which is allowing 83.3% of full capacity or 14,774 fans being allowed into the Barclays Center. Over 90% of the seats are going to vaccinated fans.