NEW YORK (AFP) – Kyrie Irving has been ruled out of the Brooklyn Nets’ crucial game five of their NBA playoff series against the Milwaukee Bucks after suffering a sprained right ankle, coach Steve Nash said Monday.
Irving was injured during the second quarter of the Nets’ loss to the Bucks in game four on Sunday after a collision with Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Bucks and Nets are tied at 2-2 in the best-of-seven matchup.
Irving’s injury means just one member of the Nets vaunted “Big Three” — Kevin Durant — is fit for game five on Tuesday, with James Harden also currently out injured.
Meanwhile, with Irving and James Harden missing, Durant said Monday he was ready to shoulder the load for the Nets as they attempt to regain the initiative against the Bucks, having led the series 2-0 at one stage.
Gobert, Simmons in
All-Defensive First Team
Utah’s Rudy Gobert and Philadelphia guard Ben Simmons were unanimous selections to the 2020-21 NBA All-Defensive First Team announced Monday by the league.
Frenchman Gobert, the NBA Defensive Player of the Year for the third time in the past four seasons, was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team for the fifth consecutive season.
Australia’s Simmons, runner-up to Gobert for the top defender award, made the squad for the second season in a row. He helped the 76ers finish witrh the NBA’s second-best regular season defensive rating, just ahead of Utah.
Joining them on the five-player top defender squad were Golden State forward Draymond Green, Milwaukee guard Jrue Holiday and his Bucks teammate, Greek star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Gobert and Simmons were named on all 100 ballots by a media panel. Green had 176 points to reach his fourth All-Defensive top squad with second-time selectee Holiday on 157 and third-time pick Antetokounmpo on 135.
The NBA All-Defensive Second Team included Miami’s Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler, Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid and Matisse Thybulle and Kawhi Leonard of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Butler and Adebayo each had 111 points to 87 for Cameroon star Embiid, 63 for Thybulle and 43 for Leonard.
Thybulle has dual US and Australian citizenship and is expected to play for the Aussie Boomers at the Tokyo Olympics.