Mikal Bridges’ Minutes Controversy Burns Bettors Against Bucks

Mikal Bridges’ Minutes Controversy Burns Bettors Against Bucks article feature image
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Mitchell Leff/Getty Images. Pictured: Mikal Bridges #1 of the Brooklyn Nets.

Mikal Bridges, the NBA's Iron Man, is at the center of a betting controversy after Wednesday night's Bucks vs Nets game.

The Nets were scheduled to play the Bucks in Brooklyn on the second night of back-to-back games after facing the Pistons in Detroit on Tuesday night. When the Nets posted their injury report at 1:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Spencer Dinwiddie (rest), Nic Claxton (ankle/injury maintenance) and Cam Johnson (knee/injury maintenance) were all listed as out after starting the previous night.

Bridges and Cam Thomas were the only two starters slated to play, and Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn said before the game his reasoning for playing Bridges was his consecutive games played streak. "Let's be upfront and honest, he has a streak going on that he doesn't want to end," Vaughn told reporters.

"We're going to be smart about individually assessing our guys and putting them in position to have a team that we can have at the end of the year, middle of the year and right now."

But bettors expected something funny would happen with Bridges' minutes after he played 40 in the previous game. One bettor on X even called the exact scenario that ended up unfolding hours before tip and suggested bettors keep an eye on the prop market.

Sure enough, Vaughn pulled Bridges and Thomas after the first quarter, and neither player returned for the rest of the game. Bridges' main props — 21.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.5 3-pointers — all went under in his 12 minutes as he logged just six points (all 2-point field goals), three rebounds and one assist.

Bettors who didn't realize Bridges would be limited were naturally furious. Some even compared it to the Draymond Green betting scandal from the 2022 season. Bridges himself wasn't happy with the coach's decision either.

“Didn’t like the choice and whatever that was, but it’s whatever. Definitely was not a fan,” Bridges told reporters after the game. When asked if he needed the rest, Bridges responded "no, never do."

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