After months of forwards and backwards, protests, and outright refusing to get vaccinated, Kyrie Irving obtained his want and was capable of return as a full-time participant in Brooklyn on Sunday. Irving scored simply 16 factors in his house debut, a Nets loss 119-110 to the Charlotte Hornets. All that build-up and noise about Irving being persecuted and the way he ought to be capable of play, then he returns and has a below-average efficiency, at the very least by his requirements.
Irving is meant to be the lacking piece to an extended postseason run for Brooklyn, however the Nets produce other points in addition to having a key participant hokey pokey his means out and in of the lineup all season. The Nets now not have James Harden to fall again on when Irving decides he wants break day for regardless of the subject on that specific day.
Ben Simmons nonetheless has not performed a recreation for the Nets after being traded effectively over a month in the past. He’s been noticed at video games, however there’s nonetheless no clear indication when he may make his Nets debut. Simmons is coping with an obvious again damage, though he hasn’t checked into an NBA recreation since final summer time. Nets followers ought to in all probability resign themselves to the truth that we in all probability gained’t see Simmons in a Nets uniform till subsequent season.
The Nets may have actually benefited from having Simmons towards the Hornets Sunday to assist hold LaMelo Ball in verify. Ball dropped 33 factors on Brooklyn, plus 9 assists and 7 rebounds. Simmons is without doubt one of the finest on-ball defenders within the league and certainly would have made issues robust for Ball had he performed. Past that one recreation, the Nets are ranked twenty second in defensive ranking. Simmons, each time he fits up, will assist enhance that ranking. The Hornets loss cuts even deeper for the Nets, since these groups will probably face off within the play-in event.
It’s actually been one subject after one other in Brooklyn since Kevin Durant arrived. He missed the primary 12 months due to his Achilles damage. Irving missed a number of weeks final season after the Jan. 6 invasion on Capitol Hill. Brooklyn trades for Harden, then barely a 12 months later, he’s throwing within the towel on the Nets. This season Kyrie missed half the 12 months as a result of he turned the voice of the unvoiced. Now Harden is gone, and his substitute is but to play with Durant and Irving. The Nets have been nothing greater than a cleaning soap opera for 2 full seasons. Everyone is aware of KD simply needs to hoop. All this further stuff should be irritating for him.
At worst, Durant is the second or third-best participant within the NBA. As nice a weapon as he’s been throughout his profession, I don’t know if he can do sufficient to beat all that’s gone unsuitable in Brooklyn. This franchise can’t appear to go greater than two months with out one thing dramatic occurring to create headlines.
There aren’t any extra excuses for Brooklyn. Kyrie is again full-time, in order that one goes proper out the window. It will likely be an uphill battle regardless of who the Nets face within the first spherical of the postseason, assuming they get by way of the play-in. If Brooklyn doesn’t advance previous the play-in, it’s going to be an extended offseason for this group.
Keep in mind, Kyrie as soon as proclaimed they didn’t actually have a coach in Brooklyn, so it’s time for him to again up all that speak. Okay, it’s time to be a frontrunner when the Nets want it greater than ever. I’d love to observe them succeed. I’m simply unsure Irving has what it takes to guide ‘em there.