What’s Next for Nets after Kyrie Irving Injury?
The Brooklyn Nets were the talk of New York City after landing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving during this past off season. Kevin Durant, who had suffered a ruptured achilles tendon in Game 5 of the NBA Finals with the Warriors, would be out for the 2019-20 season. Kyrie Irving, on the other hand, was healthy going into the season and had a magnificent opening game for the Brooklyn Nets with 50 points. However, the Nets will have to figure out how play the rest of the season without their two superstars.
The Irving Predicament
It was announced on Thursday that Irving will have to undergo season ending surgery on his right shoulder. Previously, he missed 26 games due to the injury and only played in 20 games this season. The interesting part is that the Nets were 8-12 in the 20 games that Irving played in and 17-17 without him. Currently Brooklyn is 25-29, sitting at the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Although the team had a losing record in games Irving played in, it was only 20 games. The reality is that fans don’t know how far a healthy Irving could have led the Nets.
Irving averaged 27.4 points per game, 5.2 rebounds per game, and 6.4 assists per game. Brooklyn as a team has seemed to be more together without Irving. Of course, it has to be taken into account that Irving still needed time to gel with his new teammates. Twenty games isn’t a sufficient metric to determine overall teammate compatibility, generally. Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris Levert have the Brooklyn back court looking very impressive. Dinwiddie continues to get better season by season and has become a more complete player in all facets of his game. Levert who was a 2016 first round draft pick is emerging as a star and continues to make improvements in his game.
There will be a lot of expectations for the 2020-21 Brooklyn Nets team when Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant return but for this current team they are going at a steady pace. If they continue to fight and play together like they have all season, the sky is the limit for this team moving forward.
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