When all three superstars are healthy, the Brooklyn Nets are pretty incredible. Getting Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden on the court at the same time has been trickier than Steve Nash and his staff have probably hoped.
In the 16 games since the Harden trade, the former Houston Rockets guard has played 15 for the Nets. Irving has played in 13, and Durant has played in just 10. They’re 5-2 in the seven games where all three stars have appeared.
Durant is currently out for a few games with a hamstring injury. Given how good he has locked since the Achilles injury that kept him out for all of the 2019-20 season, it makes plenty of sense for the Nets to be very conservative with his health.
Last night, his absence was not a huge factor, in the Nets’ 136-125 win over the Sacramento Kings, thanks to Irving scoring 40 points in just 31 minutes, and Harden posting a 29 point, 14 assist, 13 rebounds triple-double. As a team, the Nets hit a franchise-high 27 threes, shooting over 57-percent from deep. Tonight, it will be the Harden show against the Phoenix Suns, as Irving is now out with “lower back tightness.”
Kyrie Irving (lower back tightness) is out tonight against Phoenix, the team says.
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) February 16, 2021
The health of the three stars may be the biggest thing for the Brooklyn Nets to get on track. Of course, they’re not alone in those concerns, especially this season.
On Monday’s First Take, Stephen A. Smith said that he believes that Anthony Davis‘ injury means the Nets could be the NBA Title favorites, rather than the 2020 champion Los Angeles Lakers. Of course, if Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving are limited, Brooklyn has plenty to worry about as well.
The Nets face the Suns at 10:30 p.m. ET tonight, ahead of a big showdown with LeBron James and the Lakers on Thursday night.