The Nets will be without point guard Kyrie Irving for Game 5 vs. the Bucks on Tuesday, head coach Steve Nash told reporters today. Irving suffered a sprained right ankle in Brooklyn’s Game 4 loss on Sunday.
Irving underwent an MRI on his injured ankle today, but the Nets aren’t prepared to offer an exact recovery timeline, according to Malika Andrews of ESPN, who tweets that Nash said today he has “no idea” whether Kyrie will be able to return before the end of the series.
The Nets have already been playing since the first quarter of Game 1 without their other All-Star guard, James Harden, who suffered a right hamstring strain. Nash had no concrete update on Harden’s status, telling reporters that he was “working out” today, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv (Twitter link).
[UPDATE: James Harden ruled out for Game 5]
If Harden remains unavailable for Game 5, the pressure will be on the Nets’ lone remaining star, Kevin Durant, to carry the scoring load, with the help of Joe Harris and Blake Griffin, among others. The club will also lean more heavily on guards Bruce Brown, Mike James, and possibly Landry Shamet.
The series is currently tied at two games apiece. Irving’s absence opens the door for the Bucks to potentially steal Game 5 in Brooklyn and set themselves up for a close-out Game 6 at home.