The Nets have been beaten all season and that has continued into the postseason.
In recent outings, James Harden (hamstring) and Kyrie Irving (ankle) have been out of action for Brooklyn. With the team leading their series against the Bucks 3-2, they will need to win just once to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, so the health of the two stars is now of the utmost importance.
What is the status of James Harden and Kyrie Irving before Game 6? Here are the latest updates as the Nets head to Milwaukee in hopes of closing out the series.
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Will James Harden play Game 6 against the Bucks?
James Harden is ready to play in Game 6 against the Bucks. Network Trainer Steve Nash confirmed that Harden will be available for Brooklyn and that the team will have a chance to clinch a spot in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Harden played in the Nets’ 114-108 win over the Bucks in Game 5, but he didn’t look completely healthy. He made just 1 of 10 shots from the field and scored five points while recovering from a hamstring injury suffered in the first minute of the series against the Bucks. Harden missed Games 2, 3 and 4 of the series entirely due to a hamstring injury.
In reality, Harden is likely gearing up to provide Kevin Durant with another star to work with. While Harden may not be 100 percent, the Bucks still can’t risk him heating up from a distance. Even if it’s just serving as a decoy, it will divert the attention of other players and open the court for Durant and his teammates to make plays.
And if Harden is healthier and starts to get back in shape, it will be a problem for Milwaukee. In the Nets’ first-round series against the Celtics, Harden averaged 27.8 points, 10.6 assists and 7.2 rebounds per game while shooting 55.6 percent from the field and 47.5 percent from beyond the arch.
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Will Kyrie Irving play Game 6 against the Bucks?
Kyrie Irving won’t be ready to play in Game 6 for the Nets. The Brooklyn star suffered an ankle injury in Game 4 of the series and was seen leaving the arena on crutches, so it was always unlikely that he would be able to return.
Nash confirmed that Irving is still dealing with the ankle problem and will not travel to Milwaukee for the game. He will stay home and rehab in hopes of returning later in the postseason.
So far in the playoffs, Irving has averaged 22.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game in nine outings. In his absence, the Nets will continue to rely more on Jeff Green (35 minutes) and Landry Shamet (28) from the bench, while Bruce Brown will remain in the starting lineup. However, Brown only played in 13 minutes of Game 5, so he may not see as much playing time as Green and Shamet.
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Nets vs Bucks Game 6 Injury Report
(Current at 2:05 p.m. ET Wednesday)
|Networking||Spencer Dinwiddie||Outside||Right knee; ACL partially torn|
|Networking||James harden||Available||Right hamstring; oppression|
|Networking||Kyrie irving||Outside||Right ankle; sprain|
|Dollars||Donte DiVincenzo||Outside||Left ankle; surgery|
|Dollars||Jordan nwora||Outside||Left thigh; contusion|
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.