The injury-riddled Brooklyn Nets will hope to hold off the Milwaukee Bucks at the Barclays Center in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference semi-finals series on Tuesday. The best-of-seven affair is tied 2-2 after the Bucks took Game 4 on Sunday with a 107-96 victory on their home floor.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 34 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Milwaukee Bucks, even as Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday struggled to score, bagging only 19 and 14 points, respectively. The trio now has a huge opportunity to return home with a 3-2 lead in the series if they collectively hit their stride against the Brooklyn Nets.
Kevin Durant will be the lone superstar for the Brooklyn Nets, as Kyrie Irving and James Harden are out with injuries. Coach Steve Nash will rely on his role players to carry a heavier load, but that could be a tall task at this stage of the playoffs. Nevertheless, the Nets will be buoyed by the presence of fans at home for Game 5 as they seek a return to winning ways.
Milwaukee Bucks Injury Report
The Milwaukee Bucks have two players in their injury report for this game.
Donte DiVincenzo was ruled out for the season after he underwent surgery in his left ankle to repair a torn ligament. He suffered the injury against the Miami Heat in Round 1 of the playoffs.
Jordan Nwora remains out for the Milwaukee Bucks as he continues to deal with a thigh injury. There has been no timetable set for his possible return to the court.
Brooklyn Nets Injury Report
The Brooklyn Nets have two of their All-Stars and a key reserve in their injury report for their clash against the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday.
Kyrie Irving was injured in the second quarter of Game 4 and did not return. MRI results came out negative, but he will miss the game on Tuesday due to a sprained right ankle. The Nets have no idea when he would return to action in this series.
It’s unfortunate, as James Harden is still nursing a right hamstring injury that has been bothering him for the past few months. The 2018 MVP will miss Game 5 against the Milwaukee Bucks after aggravating the injury in Game 1 of the ongoing series.
Without two of their three superstars, the Brooklyn Nets will rely heavily on their support cast to get them through Game 5. Spencer Dinwiddie would have been handy to have right now, but he has been out of commission since early this year. He’s out for the season after suffering a partially torn ACL.
Milwaukee Bucks vs Brooklyn Nets Predicted Lineups
PJ Tucker had been moved into the starting lineup, with DiVincenzo out for the season. Tucker’s primary task will be to contain Kevin Durant and to knock down open 3-point opportunities, which he did well in Game 4.
Meanwhile, Khris Middleton has taken over as the shooting guard from the injured DiVincenzo. Nwora had not seen much action previously, so the Milwaukee Bucks’ rotation hasn’t been affected by his absence.
Mike James and Bruce Brown are likely going to be the Brooklyn Nets’ starting backcourt against the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 5. Their primary backup will be Landry Shamet, who will have to maximize his time on the court. Tyler Johnson will probably play more minutes in Game 5, as Irving and Harden will not be around.
Brown was moved up to the starting lineup after Harden went down with injury, but now James has to be ready for the increased responsibility. Meanwhile, Dinwiddie’s absence has not been felt for a while after his ACL injury, but it’s a different story now with Irving out too.
Milwaukee Bucks vs Brooklyn Nets Predicted Starting 5s
Point Guard - Jrue Holiday l Shooting Guard - Khris Middleton l Small Forward - PJ Tucker l Power Forward - Giannis Antetokounmpo l Center - Brook Lopez.
Point Guard - Mike James l Shooting Guard - Bruce Brown l Small Forward - Joe Harris l Power Forward - Kevin Durant l Center - Blake Griffin.