The Brooklyn Nets were hardly ever fully healthy during the regular season. The combination of James Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving played only eight games and 202 minutes together during the regular season, but after a five-game win over the Boston Celtics in the first round, it looked like the star trio was finally starting to coalesce.
Unfortunately, the injury gods just won’t leave the Nets alone. Less than one minute into Game 1 of their second-round series against the Milwaukee Bucks, Harden left the game and went to the locker room. He was seen reaching for his right hamstring on Brooklyn’s first offensive possession, a drive and kick attempt. He was then ruled out for the remainder of the game due to that hamstring. He has since left the arena to get an MRI.
Harden missed 21 games during the regular season because of an issue with his right hamstring, so any issue there is a very serious blow to Brooklyn’s championship hopes. This series already has a number of injuries weakening both sides. The Nets are playing Game 1 without forward Jeff Green. The Bucks lost guard Donte DiVincenzo for the postseason during their first-round series against the Miami Heat. Spencer Dinwiddie tore his ACL earlier in the season and has been out ever since.
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Injuries have sadly been a constant feature of this condensed season, but Brooklyn is built to withstand them as well as any other team. Having three All-Star shot creators helps protect them against an injury to any one of them. The duo of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant is still more than enough to keep the offense afloat for a short period, but in order to win the championship, the Nets will need all three of their stars contributing.