After going down 0-2 in this series, the Milwaukee Bucks now have new life after tying it up 2-2 at home and suddenly finding themselves playing against a depleted Brooklyn team. Game 5 on Tuesday night will be massive.
The Nets (2nd seed) lost James Harden in Game 1, but were still looking good without him. However, losing Kyrie Irving in Game 4 is a blow they might not recover from. It’s just too much to lose two superstars, and Brooklyn now finds itself in huge danger after previously controlling this series, with people even talking about a possible sweep a few days ago.
The Bucks (3rd seed) did very well to win their two home games and come back from 0-2. Game 3 was a huge fight and the Bucks showed character to edge it at the end. Game 4 was looking like it will be the same, but Kyrie’s injury allowed the Bucks to run away with it. Now, they have a massive opportunity.
Injury report: Irving and Harden will miss out for the Nets. The Bucks at are full strength with the exception of DiVincenzo, who is out of the season after an injury in the first round of the playoffs.
This is a complete disaster for the Nets. They were title favorites, they were looking good, and now their season is suddenly unraveling. Brooklyn gave up all its depth in order to create this unstoppable trio with Harden, Durant and Irving, but with two of them out, they are in dire waters. They don’t have the personnel and it will basically be Durant alongside a bunch of G Leaguers, with only Harris and Griffin being used to playing heavy minutes and offering solid contributions at this level.
As good as Durant is, he can’t do it all by himself. What’s more, the Nets will be extremely predictable, as everything will go through him. All the chemistry and playing style will be screwed up too, since Harden and Irving were responsible with most (if not all) playmaking duties. Expect a lot of confusion offensively, and a lot of “just give it to Durant”.
It was already starting to look like the Bucks were figuring things out in this series, they have the momentum, and it’s hard to imagine them losing this with both Irving and Harden out for Brooklyn.
This is Milwaukee’s chance, and they will take it. 10/10 stakes for me. Prediction: Brooklyn Nets – Milwaukee Bucks 98 – 110.