There was always a chance the Nets’ playoff series against the Bucks would go the distance, but Brooklyn probably didn’t imagine the Eastern Conference semifinals playing out in this fashion.
The Nets have been battling through health issues since the opening minute of Game 1 when James Harden limped off the floor with hamstring tightness. Harden has since rejoined the starting lineup, but Kyrie Irving has missed the past two contests after spraining his right ankle in Game 4.
Will Harden and Kevin Durant be forced to carry the offensive load once again with Brooklyn on the brink of elimination?
Here are the latest updates on Irving ahead of Saturday’s Game 7.
Will Kyrie Irving play vs. Bucks?
Irving is listed as out for Game 7 on the Nets’ official injury report. Brooklyn coach Steve Nash told reporters on Friday that Irving continues to receive treatment but still has “some miles to make up.”
Nash did offer a glimmer of hope, though, saying that Irving’s ankle injury is not considered season-ending.
“I think if we’re able to advance, he’ll be back at some point,” Nash said. “I don’t know if that’s in a few days, in a week or beyond, but I think it’s not a season-threatening situation.”
In Brooklyn’s Game 4 loss, the seven-time All-Star landed on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s foot after a shot attempt near the rim, angering some Nets fans who believed that Antetokounmpo intentionally slid under Irving.
Nash didn’t agree with that assessment of the play.
“I wouldn’t want to go inside Giannis’ head and make any proclamations. I thought it was an awkward play,” Nash said on Monday. “He ended up getting underneath Kyrie when he was in the air. I think it’d be a big stretch for me to sit here and say he meant to do that in any way. I don’t believe that’s the type of person he is, nor is that what I believe happened. It was just awkward and unfortunate.”
Through nine playoff games, Irving is averaging 22.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game.
Bucks vs. Nets Game 7 injury report
(Current as of 5:30 p.m. ET Friday)
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