Getty Images/Ringer illustration (https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.theringer.com/platform/amp/2021/6/16/22536542/kevin-durant-nets-bucks)

The Brooklyn Nets stunned the Milwaukee Bucks Tuesday night 114-108, after a legendary performance by Kevin Durant to take a 3-2 series lead with the absence of Kyrie Irving. While James Harden made the start, he wasn’t much a factor at all in Game 5.

Harden clearly was not healthy, or possibly even a fraction of it. He was merely just a decoy, or a distraction for the opposing Bucks.

Durant clearly had to bring it on Game 5, and he did.

KD solidified himself as one of the greatest players in basketball Tuesday – becoming the first player in NBA history to score 45 points, pull in 15 rebounds, and dish out 10 assists in a playoff game. It was one of the clutch performances of all time with everything on the line for Brooklyn.

Kyrie Irving has been officially ruled out for Game 6 and Harden available, according to ESPN. It looks like it’s going to be on Durant’s shoulders yet again for the remainder of the series.

It will be interesting to see how much minutes Harden will play, the fact that he was hobbling around in Game 5.

Other news broke the NBA today concerning the Western Conference. This could also affect the Nets, but this time more in a positive manner.

Chris Paul has been also ruled out indefinitely, but for the reason of COVID-19 protocols.

This unfortunate story broke Wednesday morning on ESPN, and is a huge blow to say the least for the rising Phoenix Suns. Heart breaking news not only for the Suns, but also for Paul himself, headlining as one of the best stories of the 2021 NBA Season.

If the Nets can survive the Bucks series, it would certainly give more time for Irving and Harden to get healthier for the next round against the Sixers/Hawks.

Without their veteran point guard, who completely turned around their team, the Suns are in grave danger in making it out of the west. If they somehow make it to the NBA Finals, it would certainly make them an underdog if they face the Nets.

There are of course a lot of factors going on in both sides of these playoffs. From injuries to the what-if scenarios, the championship is certainly up for grabs.

Without Kawhi Leonard in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals between the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers, it has to be the Jazz’s series for the taking. Paul George will have to step up as the leader for the remainder of the series if Leonard is out.

If the Jazz defeat the Clippers, will the Suns stand a chance in the western conference finals without Paul? There are looming questions with the Suns, Clippers, as well as the Nets.

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