Brooklyn Nets star guard James Harden is already fully focused on his team's next rival as he knows that the Milwaukee Bucks won't be an easy team to beat. On Tuesday night, the Nets handed a 123-109 loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 5 to close out the series with a 4-1 victory.
Harden was the biggest reason behind the Nets' win as he dropped a game-high 34 points and also had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Harden is playing his first postseason with the Nets and he is determined to win his first NBA title.
"I'm thinking about them right now," Harden said after his fourth career playoff triple-double helped the Nets advance into the Eastern Conference semifinals for the first time since 2014. "Just the matchups and things that they do on both ends of the ball.
Obviously, we know how good they are on both sides and their individual talents."
Harden and company set to go against Giannis Antetokounmpo
The Bucks completed a 4-0 sweep against the Miami Heat over the weekend so they have had some time to rest.
"Now, going against KD, James Harden, and all those guys -- I think everybody is going to have a chance on them," Antetokounmpo said Tuesday afternoon, before the match-up had been set. "We're going to try to throw things at them to see what works.
At the end of the day right now, we're focused on ourselves as much as possible." Antetokounmpo added: "At the end of the day, when you go against them it's a challenge. It's going to hurt to do it. But at the end of the day, greats can never get bored.
You have to do it over and over and over again. That's the only way you can -- not stop them, because there's no way you can stop them -- you can just make it as tough as possible for them." Antetokounmpo showed his respect for Durant and the Nets star forward also had some high praise for the Bucks star.
"He cares about his teammates, he cares about winning," Durant said of Antetokounmpo. "You put that combination together, you make a tough player. And his game is expanding. He's hitting the turnaround J now, he's shooting 3s, so we got our work cut out for us.
I mean he's a two-time MVP, defensive player of the year for a reason. So we're looking forward to the challenge."