For the Bucks to advance to the eastern conference finals they will need to win at least one game away from Fiserv Forum, in Brooklyn.
More accurately, they will need to win game five.
With all-stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving available, the Nets jumped out to a 2-0 series lead, and allowed the Nets to rest the James Harden’s strained hamstring.
The logic: Take our chances against the Bucks with Durant and Irving and allow Harden time to heal before the conference finals.
With Irving now out – likely for the remainder of the series – the Nets are once again rolling the dice moving Harden from “out” to “questionable” on the game five injury report.
Should Harden play, there’s no reason to think he will be 100%, but the idea that he could be closer to 100% for a potential game seven is plausible.
Harden’s return could provide an emotional lift from the Barclays Center crowd, but you can bet the Bucks will run him as much as possible to test a hamstring injury that cost him multiple weeks during the regular season and all but :43 seconds in this series.
The key to the rest of this series is not Durant, it’s Harden.
If the Bucks win game five, the series will end in Milwaukee Thursday night.
If the Bucks stumble on the road, the Nets will win the series in seven games.