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Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets couldn’t shake off the rust in time to stage a comeback against the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night.

Danny Small

Well, the Brooklyn Nets are not off to a great start. Brooklyn came out flat in their season opener and watched the Milwaukee Bucks cruise to a victory in front of their home crowd. Adding insult to injury, the Nets had to watch a championship ring ceremony before taking the 127-104 loss.

Brooklyn has lost its last three games, all to the Bucks, dating back to the playoffs in June. Even though the Nets are coming into the season as the favorite to win it all, it was the same story in Milwaukee.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks out-physicaled the Nets once again. “Out-physicaled” isn’t a real word, but it’s not hard to understand what I’m trying to say. The Bucks had 13 offensive rebounds to Brooklyn’s five. Hell, Giannis had five offensive rebounds on his own.

This is exactly what happened in the playoffs. The Bucks did all the dirty work needed to win tight games — rebounding, grabbing loose balls, mixing it up inside, etc.

The Nets? Not so much.

Kevin Durant (32 points, 11 rebounds, four assists) and James Harden (20 points, eight rebounds, eight assists) put up solid numbers on Tuesday, but it wasn’t enough to get the offense going.

Patty Mills and Joe Harris kept the Nets in the game with a flurry of three-pointers, but there was a thick layer of rust covering those Black Brooklyn jerseys.

This offense is good enough to overcome poor defensive efforts against most teams, but the Bucks are not most teams. For the Nets, the Bucks are that pesky kid on the block who always seems to get the last laugh.

For now, Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks have Brooklyn’s number. These two teams will meet again in Brooklyn on Jan. 7.

Other Nets Notes

  • Patty Mills was on fire from three-point land. The veteran guard was a perfect 7-for-7 from three in his Nets debut. Not a bad start for ESNY’s pick to win Sixth Man of the Year. Joe Harris also connected on three of his five attempts from deep.
  • On the other hand, Mills and Harris were dreadful inside the arc. The pair combined to shoot 0-for-8 from two.
  • We saw five minutes of Paul Millsap early and that was it. Bruce Brown didn’t play until garbage time either. Outside of Mills, the Nets only scored four points off the bench. That’s not going to cut it.
  • Brooklyn finished 13-for-23 from the free-throw line. Milwaukee hit one more on five fewer attempts.
  • Not only did the Nets get outrebounded by the Bucks, but they also had 12 turnovers to Milwaukee’s seven.
  • Seton Hall product Sandro Mamukelashvili played seven minutes, notching one rebound and assist apiece.

The Nets are off to Philadelphia for a Friday night game with the 76ers. Philly is dealing with its own issues right now as the Ben Simmons melodrama drags on, but Brooklyn’s frontcourt is going to have its work cut out for it with Joel Embiid dominating the paint.