When the Brooklyn Nets take the court at Barclays Center for Game 5 against the Milwaukee Bucks, the team will have a complexion that is completely different from when they took the floor for Game 1. The picture changed for the Nets just 43 seconds into Game 1 when James Harden went down with a hamstring injury. He still has yet to return in this series.
Despite Harden’s injury the Nets won the first two games in Brooklyn. However, the team’s misfortunes continued in Game 4. Nets’ star Kyrie Irving went down in the 2nd Quarter after landing on Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo’s foot and did not return during the Nets’ Game 4 loss. Both Harden and Irving have officially been ruled out for Game 5.
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Kevin Durant Sounds off on ‘Trust’ in the Nets Locker Room
With Harden and Irving both being ruled out for Game 5 all eyes will be on Nets’ star Kevin Durant as Brooklyn’s ‘Big 3’ has been diluted to a ‘Big 1.’ For Durant, even though the personnel may be different, the trust that he has in his other teammates has not wavered. The Nets will have to play their best available five players and live with the results.
“I trust in everybody on this team, and we trust in each other,” Durant said per Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News.
While Durant may have trust in his teammates, the two-time NBA Finals MVP has even more trust in his abilities. Despite both Harden and Irving now being out, the game plan has not changed for Durant. He will be prepared to do whatever it takes for his team to win just like he always is.
“I picture me doing everything out there just as I do every night,” said Durant per NetsDaily. “I might have to handle the ball more, I might have to post up more, come off pin downs more, just gotta be prepared to do everything out there just like any night.”
KD Says Nets Will Have to Just Play Ball
While Durant may be prepared to do everything in Game 5, if the Nets hope to regain the series lead, they cannot just expect Durant to shoulder the load. It is just not realistic. They will have to win by a committee and other players like Blake Griffin, Joe Harris, and Mike James will have to step up in the absence of Brooklyn’s stars. But for KD there is no overthinking it. At the end of the day, two teams have to play ball and may the best team win.
“We talk about basketball all year. We talk about schemes and what needs to be done. All of us go through scenarios because we love to play, but at a certain point, it’s just about going out there and hooping,” Durant said per NetsDaily.
“We can have as many speeches as we want to give, but pretty much around this time, every team is going out there and just playing the game. We’ve got a game plan we wanna execute and it’s simple as that. We try not to add too much extras on anything. We all know what this game is about, and we all know what this time is — it’s playoffs.”
The series between the Nets and Bucks has now become the best of three series and the team that wins Game 5 will gain an extreme upper hand. It will be an uphill battle the rest of the way for Brooklyn, but with KD on the squad, the Nets will always have a fighting chance.