Kyrie Irving will join his confidant Kevin Durant on the sidelines for the rest of the season after the guard will now undergo shoulder surgery that will end his season.
Despite coming back his previous shoulder injury for a few games, a right knee sprain and a reoccurrence of his shoulder injury that has plagued him throughout the season thwarted Kyrie’s efforts to lead the Nets on the playoffs and will now recover and rehab for next season.
Kyrie’s played just 20 games this season and while he is now free to fully recover for next season where Kevin Durant is expected to be fully healthy after his Achilles injury, his constant injuries are something to worry about.
Kyrie has now missed 15 games in six of the nine years he’s played in the NBA, including four of the past five. Nets general manager Sean Marks said the long-term goal is the most important for the team, especially with Kyrie and Durant expected to be fully healthy for next season’s expected championship expectations.
“I think we look at our players’ long-term health as the No. 1 priority,” Marks said. “Kyrie has been adamant like the rest of us that he would take one cortisone shot and see how it goes.
“We are looking at the big picture here. We are not looking at the next two to three months. We are looking at the next two to three years.”
The Nets are one of their hardest-working teams in the NBA and it’s obvious when you watch them on the court. Shooting guard Joe Harris still has belief in his team despite the loss of Kyrie for the rest of the season.
“I think our approach obviously is that it’s unfortunate, and it sucks, but we feel confident in the group that we have to be competitive,” Harris said before the game. “We still look at it like this is an opportunity for everybody in this locker room.
“We’re trying to make a push for the playoffs. We aren’t there yet. We are obviously sitting in a good spot in terms of being in the playoff race, but we are not satisfied with that. We know the second half of the year is big for everybody, and obviously the last 25 games are a chance for us to make a push and try to get better.”
No, the Net Odds and Their Season are Not Dead
Focusing on this season, Kyrie’s absence on the court is not as big as you’d think, in actuality, the Nets win more when he’s off the court. In the 20 games, he’s played this season, the team went 8-12, compared to the 18-18 record they have without him on the court.
They’ve been a playoff team for most of the season without Kyrie, but their seventh seed is now in danger after losing to eighth-placed Orlando Magic 115-113 in their last game, who are now just one and a half games behind the Nets.
Since the Nets impressive win against the Toronto Raptors, they’ve gone 1-2 in their last three games. They lost a closely fought contest against the Philadelphia 76ers 112-104 in a game that went to overtime. Joel Embiid willed the team to victory behind a 39-point performance with 16 rebounds.
The Nets bounced back as they’ve shown in previous games with a dominating 115-86 win over the Charlotte Hornets. Eight Nets players scored in double digits with Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot leading the team in scoring with 21 points.
The Nets will now go on a four-game road trip against the Washington Wizards, Atlanta Hawks, Miami Heat and Boston Celtics.
Odds on the Nets to defeat the Wizards who’ve lost back to back games despite Bradley Beal dropping 53 and 55 points in both games open at -210. Odds on the lowly Wizards to do Beal proud and win a game opens at +225.