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3 takeaways from thrilling 127-104 win vs Brooklyn Nets

3 takeaways from thrilling 127-104 win vs Brooklyn Nets

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Milwaukee Bucks: Sandro Mamukelashvili, Brooklyn Nets: James Harden

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – OCTOBER 19 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

The Milwaukee Bucks kicked off the 2021-22 NBA season last night, and as expected, there were some fireworks as they went against a familiar foe in the Brooklyn Nets.

After an emotionally packed ceremony where the team received their championship rings and hoisted their banner, it was back to business. It was practically all Bucks from start to finish as they led for all but the first few seconds of the game, with their lead having grown to as sizeable as 23 points. In the end, the Bucks comfortably won the game with a 127-104 victory. The Bucks started their title defense on a high note, and let us take a look at the three biggest takeaways.

The Milwaukee Bucks beat the Brooklyn Nets despite their thinned second unit

The Bucks entered this matchup without several key pieces of their second unit. Bobby Portis, Rodney Hood, Semi Ojeleye, and Donte DiVincenzo were all listed as out due to various injuries, which would make things challenging for head coach Mike Budenholzer when piecing together his rotation. This was especially true as he was preparing to face another top-notch team in the Nets, but he managed to navigate through it.

Without Portis and Ojeleye, the only backup big that the Bucks had was Sandro Mamukelashvili. The rookie played just a tick over seven minutes, having missed his lone shot from the floor. With the Bucks losing Jrue Holiday midway through the game to a heel contusion, Justin Robinson, who is on a two-way with the team, also saw some time. These are two players that one would guess would not be playing meaningful minutes in a game of this magnitude, but these injuries forced them into the fire, and to their credit, they both embraced it.

The same goes for Thanasis Antetokounmpo, although he is not a stranger to seeing key minutes. Yet, the forward checked in for 12-and-a-half minutes and filled his energizer role to the fullest as he played solid basketball for the shorthanded Bucks. He tallied six points and six rebounds while also emphatically blocking a shot. Antetokounmpo also never got too overaggressive, which is a known problem of his, as he had just one personal foul. He might not typically see minutes in a game like this, but he showed last night that he could make a difference when they need a lift.

The Bucks are a deep team this season, and it certainly showed in the opening night victory.

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