The Brooklyn Nets announced that lower back tightness will keep their starting shooting guard Kyrie Irving out of Tuesday’s game against the Phoenix Suns. Shams Charania of The Athletic was the first to report the news.
Kyrie Irving Will Be Out Against the Suns
Irving will miss the second half of the Nets’ back-to-back after scoring a season-high 40 points against the Sacramento Kings on Monday night. Irving also hit a career-high nine threes in the contest. He is shooting a career-high in field goal percentage from behind the arc this season. He is averaging a scorching 44% from three.
Kyrie, Durant & Harden Have Not Played Much Together
While the Nets have yet to release a timetable for Irving’s return, the bigger issue is the lack of time that the Nets “big three” of James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Irving have played together. While they have only played eight games together, the bright side is that they are 6-2 during that stretch. The fact remains that building team chemistry is hard to do when the team is rarely playing together.
Chemistry plays such a major part in how far this team will go. How the team will deal with turbulence, knowing each other’s spots on the floor, communicating on defense all ties into the team chemistry. Lack of time played together could play a major part in whether or not this team wins the championship.
Harden Discusses ‘Next Man up’ Mentality
James Harden will have to go it alone on Tuesday when the Nets take on Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns. Not only will the Suns be without Kyrie but they will also be without their star forward, Durant. KD was ruled out for two games after straining his hamstring during Saturday’s blowout of the Golden State Warriors.
After Monday’s win Harden discussed the importance of the Nets continuing to have a Nets man up mentality. “This was the vision right here — this game itself,” Harden told reporters via SNY. “From top to bottom, no matter when your number is called, you’ve got to be ready to come in and contribute, no matter what it takes. I think each individual guy has that mindset, and that’s a championship-caliber team already”
KD’s has not been ruled out for the Nets game against the Lakers on Thursday. Nets head coach Steve Nash gave an update on the severity of Durant’s injury prior to Monday’s game. “So hopefully this is something that we can get through quickly, but you know, you never know,” Nash told reporters on Monday via SNY. “Sometimes the imaging is spot on and sometimes the imaging represents something larger than what is actually taking place. So I don’t want to actually venture too far into predicting how long he could be out, but I think everyone believes this is more of a short-term injury.”
Whether it’s from COVID or injuries the Nets have failed to have consecutive playing time together which may be impacting Brooklyn’s ability to find a consistent rhythm. The bright side for Brooklyn is that they are still sitting comfortably at third place in the Eastern Conference.”