Spencer Dinwiddie dropped an F-bomb on Twitter when James Harden re-aggravated his proper hamstring 43 seconds into Sport 1. And LeBron James did the identical when Kyrie Irving landed awkwardly and clutched at his proper ankle simply previous the halfway level of the second quarter in Sport 4.
What else was there to say?
All of the sudden, Kevin Durant is the lone wholesome member of Brooklyn’s Huge Three. All of the sudden, the Nets’ title hopes cling within the stability. And barring some unexpectedly excellent news on the harm entrance, their as soon as promising season might quickly be over.
This yr, it actually could be final group standing wins. And Brooklyn is presently wobbling prefer it received hit by Nate Diaz. Granted, not like Diaz, nobody goes to be praising the abruptly undermanned Nets — probably the most hated group within the NBA — in the event that they lose.
With Giannis Antetokounmpo in early foul hassle, Brooklyn jumped out to a double-digit lead on Sunday. However Antetokounmpo got here again, and that lead didn’t final. Irving’s harm modified every thing, and the Nets fell 107-96 to the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Discussion board
Irving was formally identified with a sprain. X-rays had been damaging, however he can have extra checks on Monday. A supply confirmed an ESPN report that he left the constructing sporting a boot and utilizing crutches. That sounds ominous. In the meantime, Harden’s standing stays unsure, with Steve Nash saying that there are not any plans to hurry “The Beard” again to motion. Due to this fact, Durant could also be on his personal going ahead. And he’s going to must be otherworldly for his group to have any shot of advancing.
Irving limped to the locker room after making a floater and touchdown on Antetokounmpo with 5:52 left within the second. Brooklyn, unsurprisingly, wasn’t the identical group with out No. 11.
Durant — typically going through double- and triple-teams — completed with 28 factors on 9-for-25 capturing in 42 minutes. He added 13 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 turnovers. He missed all 4 of his photographs within the fourth quarter, and completed 1-for-8 from 3-point vary general.
PJ Tucker continued to be a thorn in Durant’s aspect, forcing his fellow Texas Longhorn into 4-for-12 capturing as the first defender, in keeping with ESPN. Nash referred to Tucker’s protection as “borderline non-basketball bodily.” It actually annoyed Durant, who regularly complained to the officers. Loads of former gamers supported KD’s pleas on social media.
(An apart: I’d been beating the drum that Sean Marks ought to purchase Tucker within the Harden megadeal. Possibly he would’ve if Spencer Dinwiddie had been a wholesome commerce chip).
No. 7 additionally didn’t get any assist from his supporting solid. Irving was the one different participant in double figures (11 factors), and he performed simply 17 minutes. After going 1-for-11 from the sphere in Sport 3, Joe Harris completed with simply eight factors in Sport 4. Unsung postseason hero Mike James was ineffective as properly, forcing Bruce Brown into point-guard responsibility throughout the remaining interval. Nash lastly waived the white flag with 4 1/2 minutes remaining.
On reflection, the Nets might’ve had Sport 3. However these remaining few Durant-less possessions had been brutal. And so they appeared like they had been going to take Sport 4, up by 11 with 10:22 left within the second. However then got here a 16-point swing. Then got here Irving’s harm. Then got here catastrophe.
Brooklyn went 10-for-33 from 3-point vary and had 17 turnovers. Milwaukee went 16-for-47 from 3-point vary and had 12 turnovers. Antetokounmpo completed with 34 factors and 12 rebounds.
All season, Sean Marks-Nash Nets have been hampered by accidents. All season, they’ve nearly welcomed adversity. However this? This could be an excessive amount of to beat — even for Brooklyn. If each James Harden and Kyrie Irving can’t come again, it looks like this collection is over.
In 2018-19, it was Durant’s Golden State Warriors who missed out on an opportunity to three-peat as a result of he received harm. And now, two years later, it’s Durant — after returning to MVP kind from the Achilles’ harm — who will probably have to hold his group by himself. However even when KD morphs into 2015 NBA finals LeBron James — whose personal Los Angeles Lakers had been already eradicated because of star accidents to King James and Anthony Davis — it will not be sufficient. As a result of it’s nonetheless a query of who is that this group’s Matthew Dellavedova?
Sort F-bomb. Ship tweet.