Nets Over Bucks, Celtics over Cavaliers and the 5 Biggest NBA Upsets Since 2000

Jordan Cohn
August 05, 2020 - 10:23 am

I sent this text to my friends, practically verbatim but with much more careless grammar, before the Bucks took on the ultra-depleted Nets on Tuesday afternoon.

"So, the Nets are missing Joe Harris, Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert, plus everyone who already opted out, against the Bucks," I said. "I wonder what the hell the spread is gonna be... they could legit win by triple digits if they went full-go."

My friend -- we'll call him Joey -- responded that at "even like +25 I wouldn't touch the Nets, lol."

And I have to think we were in the majority here, though we all speculated that the Bucks would eventually rest starters like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton after jumping out to a 30- or 40-point lead at the half. Even Vegas was with us, pegging the Bucks as 18.5-point favorites over their depleted Eastern Conference counterpart.

At least we were partially right in our prediction -- the Bucks' primary two stars did sit out for the second half -- and, as an added bonus, Brook Lopez got some rest. But the Bucks didn't have a 30- or 40-point lead at the half; they didn't have a lead at all, in fact.

What was to come in the latter half would be one of the most surprising upsets in NBA history. But does it top the list of the biggest point-spread upsets since 2000? Let's find out.

All info retrieved from Basketball Reference and Action Network.

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