The NBA regular season has been underway since the middle of October, and with just a quarter of the season completed many stars have already been making noise around the league. For the Brooklyn Nets , Kevin Durant continues to put on a career performance, averaging 28.6 points per game on a scalding 54% shooting from the field. One player, though, who still (literally) has not shown up, is Nets’ superstar point guard Kyrie Irving. at the beginning of the season, Irving was sidelined indefinitely by the Nets due to New York City’s Covid restrictions and his refusal to take the vaccine.
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Ex-Nets Guard Makes Bold Claim About the ‘Big 3′
The league, and more importantly the Nets, have not been the same without Irving this year. The absence of a 7-time All-Star is not ideal for a team who is looking to get back to their first NBA Finals since 2003.
Former Nets shooting guard Kerry Kittles was on the last Nets team to make it to the Finals. In an interview with Bally Sports’ Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson , Kittles was asked about Brooklyn’s chances as far as winning a championship with just James Harden and Durant. And he has made it clear that without Kyrie, the Nets are not as powerful as they need to be.
“No. They need Kyrie. They definitely need Kyrie. I just think it puts too much pressure on those two guys, I think in this era nowadays you need three stars, you definitely need three high-caliber players that can control the game with the ball in their hands,” Kittles said.
“You saw what happened last year with the injuries across the league. The game is so fast now injuries are always going to play a role in today’s game, unfortunately. Kyrie definitely has to come back and help this team get to the championship and have a chance of winning it. Without him, if they could make the Eastern Conference Finals that would be a great season. I don’t care what happens in the regular season, they definitely need Kyrie in the postseason.”
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Steve Nash Sounds off About Kevin Durant’s Workload
Irving’s absence has undoubtedly been a challenge for this year’s Nets team, especially for Durant and Harden in terms of time spent on the court. But as head coach Steve Nash put it when asked about the heavy minutes Durant has been logging, the only other option available is to “play him less and lose more”.
Kyrie Is Still a Question Mark
According to Ian Begley of SNY , the Brooklyn Nets are still open to trading Kyrie, a discussion that they have been willing to have with any team since late October. And while many have called in about the former NBA champion, the Nets organization has been hesitant to pull the trigger on a trade.
As for Irving and his whereabouts, he has not given any official update on where he is in terms of his vaccination status. And the more the season moves along, the more difficult it will be to bring Irving back into the fold if he does return. But what the Nets can hang their hats on is that even without Kyrie they currently sit in first place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 15-6.