Kyrie Irving Update: Star’s Status For Sixers Game

Kyrie Irving Nets

Getty Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets could miss up to three more games due to the COVID-19 health and safety protocols

In one of the weirdest NBA games in recent memory, the Brooklyn Nets fell to the Toronto Raptors 123-117. The Nets put up a fight at home against the 2019 Champs, but a comeback was not in the cards for Brooklyn, especially after losing their Most Valuable Player award candidate Kevin Durant. Durant did not start the game as he was put into the NBA’s health and safety protocols moment’s before tip-off but was cleared and entered the game about midway through the first quarter. Durant registered 19 minutes before he was pulled early in the third quarter as someone who he had been in proximity with tested positive for the coronavirus. When the Nets take on the Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday not only will Durant likely be unavailable but so will Brooklyn’s starting point guard Kyrie Irving.

Kyrie Irving Will Not Play Against Sixers

Kyrie will be unavailable for Saturday’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers. Brooklyn’s starting point guard suffered a sprained right index finger in Friday’s loss to the Toronto Raptors according to Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News. This will be Irving’s first missed game since returning from a personal matter that required him to miss seven games earlier this season. Since returning Irving has been on fire. On the season he is averaging 27.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 5.7 assists per game.

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Irving being out due to injury adds some context to his subpar second half in the loss to the Raptors. At least to his standards. Kyrie had just one made field goal in the fourth quarter on Friday. Irving is amongst the league leaders in points in the fourth quarter. He ranked third in the NBA coming into Friday’s game with 8.2 points per game in the final period on over 61% shooting from the field according to Tommy Beer of Forbes. Who is ranked first and second you ask? His teammates Kevin Durant with 8.4 points per game and James Harden with 8.3 points per game. There is clutch scoring all over the floor in Brooklyn.

With both Irving and Durant likely being out for Saturday’s game, Brooklyn will be looking to 2018 Most Valuable Player James Harden to lead them to a win. In a highly competitive Eastern Conference, the Nets cannot afford to fall far behind in the standings. Harden leads the league in assists with 12 per game but the Nets will need him to show up with the same aggressiveness that has won him the last three scoring titles when they play the Sixers.

James Harden Was Almost a Sixer

The real irony of Saturday’s game is that Harden was almost a Sixer but Houston’s asking price for “The Beard” was a little too rich for Philly’s blood. According to CBS Sports, multiple reports have suggested that the Rockets front office had an asking price of Sixers star Ben Simmons, Matisse Thybulle, and multiple draft picks. Where Philadelphia’s President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey drew the line is when Houston wanted Philadelphia’s first-round pick and former Kentucky standout Tyrese Maxey. Brooklyn, one of the wealthiest franchises in the NBA was willing to pay the luxury tax on Harden which is why the eight-time all-star ended up in Brooklyn. The trade worked out for both parties as Harden got to go to his first-choice destination and Philadelphia despite losing out on Harden is perched high atop of the Eastern Conference.

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