National Basketball Association
Bucks-Nets Preview
National Basketball Association

Bucks-Nets Preview

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 7:56 p.m. ET

Jason Kidd has lost just once in six meetings against his former team since getting traded from the Brooklyn Nets to the Milwaukee Bucks in the summer of 2014.

A sweep of the Nets would be of small consolation for the coach in what has been a miserable season for both sides.

Kidd and the last-place Bucks seek their third win in a row overall and fourth straight over the woeful Nets on Sunday night at Barclays Center, where Brooklyn will play for the first time in three weeks.

Kidd's first head coaching gig was with the Nets in 2013-14 and resulted in a 44-38 record and sixth seed in the playoffs, where they upset Toronto before getting ousted by eventual Finals runner-up Miami in five games.


It proved to be a short stay in Brooklyn for Kidd, who sought more control over the team in the offseason and was subsequently traded to the Bucks for two second-round draft picks.

While the Nets (18-47) have regressed since and are better than only Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference, Milwaukee has backslid from a promising 2014-15 into this season's disappointing 28-38 mark.

The Bucks are clinging to their postseason hopes, though, behind consecutive wins despite needing to leapfrog four teams for the eighth spot, which they trail by six with 16 to play.

The NBA gods seem to be against letting them make a serious run.

While John Henson returned to practice last week for the first time in more than a month since injuring his back, O.J. Mayo was lost for the season after breaking his ankle going down a flight of stairs at his home Thursday - the same day Michael Carter-Williams underwent season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left hip.

Another obstacle is playing the second game of a back-to-back in Brooklyn after Saturday's 103-92 home win over New Orleans. The Bucks, who are 8-26 away from home, will have to deal with the switch to daylight saving time and traveling into the Eastern time zone.

''I think the league is testing us to see how we can handle back-to-back (games) while losing two hours,'' Kidd said.

This will be Kidd's third trip back to Barclays Center, where he heard a mixture of boos and cheers in a 103-96 win on Nov. 2. Five days later, the Bucks rolled to a 94-86 victory over the Nets in Milwaukee.

Jerryd Bayless averages only 10.9 points for the Bucks this season, but he went for a season-high 26 in the first meeting and followed it with 19 and 10 assists in the second. Bayless had 17 points Saturday in his second game back in the starting lineup following Mayo's injury.

The two losses to Milwaukee were part of a 0-7 start to the season for Brooklyn, and things have only gotten marginally better since.

After a 6-6 stretch from Feb. 5-March 4, the Nets have dropped three straight - including Friday's 95-89 loss at the 76ers to close a season-high nine-game road trip 3-6.

Philadelphia is 2-18 since Jan. 27, both wins coming against Brooklyn.

While the 76ers are the NBA's third-worst defensive team at 107.3 points per game allowed, Milwaukee is a bit better at 103.1. The Bucks held the Pelicans to 39.3 percent shooting while forcing 16 turnovers - their seventh straight game turning over opponents at least that many times.


Get more from National Basketball Association Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more