Kyrie Irving Sends Oddly Positive Message After Ugly Nets Loss

Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets.

Getty Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets.

The Brooklyn Nets took a major blow when Kevin Durant was diagnosed with a sprained MCL. Before his injury, they were on fire, ripping off a 12-game win streak. Since he’s been out, they’ve lost two games in a row. One was against the Boston Celtics, which is understandable, but after a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, there are some questions to be had.

Who is going to step up in the scoring column in place of Durant? Is Kyrie Irving going to be able to carry the load? And most importantly, can the Nets keep their heads above water with Durant out? Well, according to Irving, yes, yes they can. According to Irving, the games don’t matter until April.

“These are warmup games. The big performances come in late April,” Irving told Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News. “Just have to enjoy it and smile at how you lose and be able to pick yourself back up. I’m doing the best job I can. I wish I could make a few more shots within the minutes and be efficient. I know that will come and I’ll continue to prepare the best way I know how and be a better example for the guys in the locker room.”

Despite their two-game losing streak, the Nets are still in a good spot moving forward. They are currently 27-15 on the season, which is good for second place in the Eastern Conference standings – 4.5 games behind the first-place Celtics.

With Durant sidelined, Irving has struggled a bit. He hasn’t been able to step up as well as some might have hoped. In the two games Durant has been out, Irving has played 38.1 minutes per contest, but his numbers aren’t ideal. He’s averaged 19.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 6.0 assists but on just 36.4% shooting from the field and 22.2% shooting from behind the three-point line.

Kyrie Irving Expresses Confidence in Ben Simmons

One player who will undoubtedly be looked to step up in Durant’s absence is Ben Simmons. Up to this point, Simmons has been able to assume a perfect role alongside Irving and Durant, but he will likely be asked to score more.

But even after a scoreless night from Simmons against the Celtics, Irving expressed confidence in his teammate.

”He’s just gotta be himself. We’re not gonna put too much pressure on him,” Irving told Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News. “We’re not gonna let this one particular game or any other games where he scored eight points, four points, it doesn’t matter. It’s all on us as a team to collectively put points on the board, and when he gets his opportunities, we just want him to be aggressive.”

Kyrie Irving Puts Teammates on Notice

Simmons isn’t the only player Irving and the Nets will be looking to, though. According to the star point guard, it will be up to everyone on the roster to step up while Durant is injured.

“From each one of us, every single night. It’s just going to be a collective effort,” Irving said via SNY Nets Videos.

Kyrie Irving | Post-Game Press Conference | Brooklyn Nets vs. Miami HeatKyrie Irving spoke to the media following Nets vs. Heat on January 8, 2023.2023-01-09T03:32:48Z
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