The Brooklyn Nets are reportedly preparing to be without Kyrie Irving through at least the remainder of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Nets do not expect to see Irving back on the floor against the Bucks but are increasingly optimistic about James Harden's status. Harden went through shootaround Tuesday morning to test his injured hamstring and is "hopeful" to be back in the lineup for Game 5, which tips off at 8:30 p.m. ET.
The Nets have been without Harden since the opening minute of Game 1. Irving went down in the second quarter of Brooklyn's Game 4 loss after stepping on the foot of Giannis Antetokounmpo on a shot attempt.
Nets coach Steve Nash said he had "no idea" when Irving would be able to return.
"I have to wait and see how it progresses, I think," Nash told reporters Monday. "And then the experts would have to wait and see how it progresses and give you a clearer picture on what the window would be for his return."
The Nets offense has struggled without Irving as Kevin Durant has been forced to shoulder the focus of the Bucks defense. The point guard's departure from the lineup may be mitigated by the return of Harden, though it remains to be seen whether he will be close to 100 percent by tipoff.
Regardless, being without Irving for the remainder of the series will reduce Brooklyn's margin of error to almost zero. The teams have won two games apiece.