Simply put the Brooklyn Nets are in big trouble. After the first two games of the series including a 39-point clobbering in Game 2, it looked like the Nets were going to enter the Eastern Conference Finals on cruise control, even without one of their All-Stars in James Harden.
The series is now tied at two games apiece as the complexion of the series changed drastically with 5:52 left to go in the 2nd quarter of Game 4. Nets’ star Kyrie Irving badly rolled his ankle after landing on Bucks’ forward Giannis Antetokounmpo’s foot. He left Game 4 and did not return.
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Michael Rapaport Aims at Kevin Durant for Game 4 Loss
With two of Brooklyn’s Big 3 being out with injuries, all of the defensive attention fell on Two-time Finals Most Valuable Player Kevin Durant. Durant struggled in Kyrie’s absence. He was held to just a 9-25 shooting outing from the field in Game 2.
KD has played with some talented squads in the past few years of his career. With Steph Curry and Klay Thompson in Golden State and now with Irving and Harden in Brooklyn. However, with two of the Nets’ stars out, Durant finds himself in a situation where he has not been in his career for some time, on a team where he is the only superstar.
Durant went scoreless in the 4th quarter during the Nets’ Game 2 loss. Famed actor and noted KD hater Michael Rapaport was quick to point out the deficiencies in Durant’s outing during the Nets Game 4 loss.
“Kevin Durant had 0 fourth-quarter points, DONUT! Why isn’t this being talked about?” Rapaport said per his Instagram account. “If LeBron or Curry did this, we would never hear the end.”
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Giannis Praises PJ Tucker’s Defense
The Milwaukee Bucks came back from a 2-0 deficit to even up the series, as they defeated the Brooklyn Nets in the Fiserv Forum 107-96. Giannis was an unstoppable force, scoring 34 points on 53% shooting from the field.
The biggest impact on the court for Milwaukee undoubtedly came from veteran PJ Tucker. Even though he only scored 13 points and had 5 personal fouls, his ability to hold Durant on defense can be attributed to the reason the Bucks were able to get such a lead on a stacked Brooklyn team. Tucker held KD to just nine points on 25% shooting whenever the two were matched up. When asked about his impact on the game, Antetokounmpo had high praises for the vet.
“He’s big”, Giannis said in a postgame interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols. “He keeps playing hard, keeps making everything tough for KD. He is vocal, he’s a leader, he pushes us to be great. He’s definitely a big piece of this team, and he’s gonna keep helping us and we’ll definitely need him moving forward.”
As for Brooklyn, the team seems to be off from its usual self. Durant’s 28 points came from 36% at the field and just 12% from behind the three-point line. With a pivotal Game 5 looming at the Barclays Center, the Nets will have to implore that next man up mentality that they have alluded to all season long. Their championship aspirations depend on it.