The Nets' Kyrie Irving will have to sit out for Saturday's semifinals Game 7 against the Bucks.
The Nets’ Big 3 still will not be intact for their biggest game to date.
Kyrie Irving is “officially out” Saturday for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Bucks, Nets coach Steve Nash confirmed Friday.
Nash said Irving still has “some miles to make up” and will miss a third straight game with the sprained right ankle he suffered in the second quarter of Game 4.
“I think if we’re able to advance, he’ll be back at some point,” Nash added. “I don’t know if that’s in a few days, in a week or beyond, but I think it’s not a season-threatening situation.”
Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said he hadn’t learned of Irving’s latest absence until informed of it Friday by the media.
“I think this series has been unique, and we just have to be prepared for whoever plays,” Budenholzer said. “I feel like there’s been three different versions of the Brooklyn Nets that we’ve played and/or prepared for.
“I think we’re to a stage mentally where — and we’ve said it throughout the series — you’ve just got to be ready to play regardless of who’s out there. Obviously they have a ton of talent … and we just got to be ready to guard them all.”
Nash acknowledged that Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo regularly exceeds the 10-second limit on free-throw attempts, even if he has been called for a violation just once — in Game 3 — through six games. He also was whistled once during Milwaukee’s previous series against the Heat.
“I think that’s your answer. It’s not being enforced,” Nash said. “That’s a totally different discussion. We’re trying to win a game, we’re worrying about ourselves. I’m not going to worry about if the league’s calling 10 seconds on a free throw or not.
“If I really cared about it and put up a stink, do you think they would change, anyways? I doubt it. Worry about my guys, our team, doing the best we can and all the things that we can control.”
The Nets’ game operations staff had posted a countdown clock on their scoreboard while The Greek Freak was at the line during Game 1 of the series, but they were ordered by the NBA to stop using it for subsequent home games.
Nets assistant coach Ime Udoka has advanced to the second round of interviews for the Celtics’ coaching search, ESPN.com reported, to replace Brad Stevens, who was promoted to president of basketball operations. Bucks assistant Darvin Ham and Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups “also are among the prominent candidates, but aren’t necessarily the full complement of the Celtics’ remaining list,” the report stated.
This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Peter Botte