On Wednesday, the Brooklyn Nets registered their third straight win as they defeated the Atlanta Hawks 128-132 in a thrilling overtime victory. Brooklyn’s three stars Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and Kevin Durant combined for 89 points in the win. Irving does not look like he has missed a beat since returning from his personal leave. Brooklyn’s starting point guard notched 26 points to go along with, 4 rebounds and 7 assists. Since re-entering the lineup the former number one overall pick has eclipsed the 25-point mark in four of the last five contests averaging 28.6 points per game in that time frame. Irving is coming off major off-season arthroscopic shoulder surgery, so Nets head coach Steve Nash has been extremely cautious with his minutes. Irving, however, feels that he is 100 % healthy and is ready for Nash to take the training wheels off.
Kyrie Ready to Be ‘Let Loose’
“I think Steve is just trying to find a happy balance,” Irving told reporters over zoom via SNY Twitter following Wednesday’s win. “Obviously, we have experience in terms of years in the league but I’m heading into the prime of my career. Sometimes I have to tell Steve ‘hey man just let me go out there and let me loose. As I said we’re just finding a happy balance of being very communicative with each other and just being upfront and just following the game plan that we all agree to before we go out there.”
This is Nash’s first year coaching as he had no prior experience when he took the Nets job. He is being forced to learn on the fly just like the rest of the Nets. This includes learning how to manage the minutes of his two stars Kyrie and KD who are both coming off major surgeries. While the team is still putting the pieces together, things are starting to look up. The Nets, who once looked like they could not stop a nosebleed put together a string of stops in the overtime period to seal the victory.
Kyrie May Be the Most Important Part of Nets Trio
While Harden and KD are superstars the most dangerous part of Brooklyn’s star trio might be their starting point guard. As we saw in the 2016 NBA Finals a free-flowing Uncle Drew is one of the most unstoppable players that the game has ever seen. It is not just because of his ability to put up buckets in a hurry but Irving’s activity on the floor allows him to create for others both with and without the ball. This is part of the reason that KD was able to return to peak form from the moment he stepped back on the floor. When you have to pick your poison between guarding KD or Uncle Drew any decision that you make is going to be a bad one.
Since Irving’s return, the Nets are 3-2 including back-to-back wins over the defending Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat. While the Nets are not clicking on all cylinders just yet, you can see the progress being made with each game that they play.