The news Brooklyn Nets fans feared but expected has been confirmed.
Per Malika Andrews of ESPN, Nets head coach Steve Nash announced Friday afternoon that All-Star guard Kyrie Irving won't play in Saturday's Game 7 of the second-round playoff series against the Milwaukee Bucks because of the sprained right ankle he first suffered last Sunday against Milwaukee. Irving hasn't played since, but the Nets managed to defeat the Bucks in Game 5 Tuesday evening to take a 3-2 series lead thanks largely to a heroic effort from Kevin Durant.
Milwaukee forced Game 7 via Thursday's 104-89 home victory over Brooklyn. The series decider will take place at Brooklyn's Barclays Center.
Nash explained that Irving should be good for the Eastern Conference Finals if the Nets win Saturday night:
Nash adds that if the Nets are able to advance, Brooklyn anticipates Kyrie Irving will be back. "It is not a season-threatening situation," Nash says. https://t.co/Kho4Yv8qKL— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) June 18, 2021
Fellow Brooklyn guard James Harden made his way back to the rotation for Tuesday's Game 5 from the strained hamstring that had kept him sidelined since June 5. While he performed better in Game 6, he visibly isn't 100% and likely would be resting if Saturday's matchup occurred during regular-season play.