The long-awaited playoff matchup kicked off on Saturday night. After multiple thrilling games in the regular season, the Milwaukee Bucks and the Brooklyn Nets finally squared off in the bright lights of the postseason.
Brooklyn took the victory in game one, winning by a final score of 115-107. While they walked away with the win, they also lost a key player in the game's opening minute.
Injury costed Nets' guard James Harden most of the final lap of the regular season. Out of the Nets' final 24 games, Harden only appeared in three of them.
The injury bug reared its ugly head back towards the former MVP on Saturday night. He played just 43 seconds in game one before having to exit with a hamstring injury.
Staying healthy has been an issue for the Nets all season. At the start of the postseason, their big three of Durant, Harden, and Irving had played in less than ten games together. Now just six games into the playoffs, they are down one of their most important pieces.
The severity of Harden's injury could drastically change the outlook of the Eastern Conference playoff picture. Many felt the series between Brooklyn and Milwaukee could go either way. That might change if Harden is not able to take the floor beyond the first two games.
Since taking over the point guard duties, Harden added an entirely new element to the Nets' offense. His playmaking abilities got more players involved and strayed away from the isolation-heavy play of the team before his arrival.
The Nets have been looked at as a Goliath since acquiring Harden via trade. If he is forced to miss extended time, the unstoppable force could begin to look mortal.
Kevin McCormick covers the Philadelphia 76ers for South Jersey's 97.3 ESPN and Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @KevinMcCNBA.