You might not be able to name a single player on the Brooklyn Nets‘ bubble roster at the moment, but they just made NBA history. With Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, DeAndre Jordan, and Spencer Dinwiddie all sitting out the NBA restart, the Nets were the most undermanned team entering Orlando.
After three more starters were ruled out for Tuesday’s game against the league-leading Milwaukee Bucks, no one gave Brooklyn a chance. Somehow, their rag-tag bunch of journeymen and bench players came together to accomplish something not done in the NBA in 27 years.
The Brooklyn Nets are the most beat-up team in the NBA bubble
The Nets’ starting lineup at the moment could pass for a G-League team, but here they are in the heart of a playoff race. With all the injuries on the team, Brooklyn sent out a starting lineup Tuesday that most casual NBA fans wouldn’t even recognize.
Against the Bucks, the Nets starting five consisted of Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot, Tyler Johnson, Garrett Temple, Rodions Kurucs, and Lance Thomas. If you’re scratching your head right now or turning to Google, don’t be embarrassed. You aren’t the only one.
The most recognizable name on the Nets Tuesday was actually veteran Jamal Crawford. The Nets recently signed Crawford as a reserve guard for the bubble, but he got injured a few minutes into his first game.
With their A-Team sidelined Tuesday, Las Vegas oddsmakers gave the Nets a slim chance to pull off the upset. Brooklyn closed as an 18.5-point underdog against the Bucks.
The Nets stunned the Bucks as 18.5-point underdogs
Despite the injures, the Nets came out scorching hot to start the game Tuesday. Brooklyn scored 40 points in the first quarter and took a shocking six-point lead over the Eastern Conference No. 1 seed.
The fairytale didn’t end there. Brooklyn actually went on to stun the Bucks, 119-116. They didn’t just cover the 18.5 points. They won outright as 15/1 underdogs!
The Bucks did rest their starters in the second half, but Brooklyn’s win still shouldn’t be downplayed. Milwaukee has been the best team in the entire NBA all season long, and the Nets beat them with a G-League roster.
The Nets scored the biggest NBA upset in 27 years
The Nets’ stunning victory Tuesday wasn’t just the biggest upset of the season. It was the biggest upset in the NBA in 27 years.
In 1993, the Dallas Mavericks beat the Seattle SuperSonics as 19.5-point underdogs. Brooklyn’s win as 18.5-point dogs is the biggest upset since the Mavericks’ shocking win 27 years ago.
If you bet $100 on the Nets to beat the Bucks Tuesday, you would’ve won a profit of $1,500. There were actually a few brave souls who dropped a couple hundred bucks on the upset, and they were paid out handsomely.