Nets News: Bruce Brown ready for defensive challenge posed by Bucks

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Nets Bruce Brown guards Jayson Tatum
Nets Bruce Brown guards Jayson Tatum

While the Nets go into their second-round series with the Bucks with a much-heralded Big Three, Milwaukee’s trio of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday put together a fine season of their own.

The Bucks’ top three scorers combined to average 66.2 points per game, and Bruce Brown knows no matter how many points the Nets pour in, they’ll need to get stops on the other end.

“As three-level scorers, they can do a little bit of everything,” Brown said. “So really we're just trying to be physical with them and try to limit their game. We know what Giannis can do. We know what Khris and Jrue can do. But we're just going to try to be physical and limit their opportunities and make it tough.”

Last week, head coach Steve Nash referred to Brown as his team’s “swiss-army knife,” and his ability to guard multiple positions helped Brooklyn to a 4-1 series win over Boston in the first round.

Brown averaged 20.6 minutes per game off the bench in the first round, and figures to see time guarding all three of Milwaukee’s offensive triple threat.

“For me, guarding the guards, I'm just going to try to be more physical and not let them get to their spots easily,” Brown said. “Really try to make them make tough shots and not foul.”

Not putting Middleton and Holiday on the line will be key, especially in the case of Middleton, who shot his free throws at an 89.8 percent clip this season.

Antetokounmpo, meanwhile, has seven inches on Brown, but the 24-year-old has a plan to deal with the two-time defending MVP.

“I just think I use my speed,” Brown said. “I'm extremely physical and I'm strong. So I'm just going to try to cut him off. I'll try to take charges on him because that seems to work.“

Brown stressed the need to be physical with the Bucks from the get-go, and that starts with Game 1 on Saturday.

“We can't have any slow starts,” Brown said. “They're a great team. So we've got to be ready from the opening tip, be physical and not give them anything easy.”