Bucks-Nets Game 7 predictions: Experts slightly favor Kevin Durant, host Brooklyn over Giannis-led Milwaukee

So much has happened in the second-round series between the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks: a transcendent individual performance, some inexplicably ugly offense, two terrible injuries, several nail-biters, a profoundly brutal blowout, an extraordinary comeback and everything in between. Trying to predict what might happen in Saturday’s Game 7 is […]

So much has happened in the second-round series between the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks: a transcendent individual performance, some inexplicably ugly offense, two terrible injuries, several nail-biters, a profoundly brutal blowout, an extraordinary comeback and everything in between. Trying to predict what might happen in Saturday’s Game 7 is something of a fool’s errand, but CBS Sports’ team of NBA writers gave it a shot anyway.

The game will tip off from Barclays Center at 8:30 p.m. ET and air on TNT. Here are our picks, along with brief explanations:  

Game 7: (2) Brooklyn Nets vs. (3) Milwaukee Bucks

Reiter’s take: The Bucks showed what they can do and who they can be in Game 6, and that’ll be enough to get past a hobbled Brooklyn Nets team who simply run out of steam, and stars. Pick: Bucks

Herbert’s take: Milwaukee’s half-court offense has been yucky all series, and I don’t expect a second consecutive flat performance from Brooklyn. James Harden is an enormous variable here, but even if he’s not moving any better than he did in the last two games, I anticipate the Nets being sharp. If they avoid needless turnovers and fouls, get back in transition and attack the Bucks’ pressure points, they should advance. Pick: Nets

Ward-Henninger’s take: When I originally picked the Nets in 7, it was because they have the player I trust most down the stretch in a close game — Kevin Durant. That hasn’t changed, so I’ll stick with the Nets despite their injury issues. Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton have looked great recently, but I can see the Bucks’ offense stalling out again with their season on the line. Pick: Nets

Botkin’s take: The Nets have the best player and the home-court advantage. Before you even factor anything else in, that puts them in the driver’s seat. I don’t trust Milwaukee to get quality shots down the stretch of a Game 7. To be honest, I didn’t think the Bucks got that great of shots in game 6, they just made some tough ones. Brooklyn marches on. Pick: Nets

Maloney’s take: With Kyrie Irving out and James Harden hobbled, the Bucks are the better team. This series would already be over if Kevin Durant didn’t put together one of the best playoff performances of all time in Game 5, and as great as he is I don’t think he can replicate that level of performance again. Pick: Bucks

Kaskey-Blomain’s take: Brooklyn has the best player in the series in Kevin Durant, and in the postseason, especially in a decisive Game 7, that means a whole lot. Plus, James Harden looked a bit better in his second game back than he did in his first game back, so he might look even better in Game 7. Throw in the fact that the game is in Brooklyn, and the Nets should have the advantage. Pick: Nets

Quinn’s take: Game 7s tend to be low scoring, and low-scoring games involve plenty of missed shots. Who does that favor? The team that rebounds better, which is the Bucks, who are plus-29 on the glass in this series, and the team that can generate more easy baskets in transition, which is again the Bucks, who outscored the Nets 26-4 on fast breaks in Game 6. Kevin Durant is a superhero, but without proper support, the Bucks should be the pick here. Pick: Bucks

Wimbish’s take: The Bucks would be the obvious pick given the injuries the Nets are dealing with, but I don’t know that I fully trust Milwaukee, even after the explosive performances from its star players in Game 6. Durant is still unguardable in this series, and if Harden can improve once again on his production from the previous game, then it’s a lot more evenly matched. I’m going with Brooklyn on the back of another insane performance from K.D. Pick: Nets

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