Nets stars Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving’s true status in top-seed battle vs. Sixers
NBA fans will be in for quite a treat on Wednesday when the two best teams in the Eastern Conference battle it out on the hardcourt. With how things stand, however, it looks like the Brooklyn Nets might be without both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving when they take on the Sixers on Wednesday.
Durant, who was a full participant for Brooklyn’s 127-97 blowout win against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday, is coming off a lengthy injury. With Wednesday’s tilt against the Philadelphia 76ers being the second night of a back-to-back set, Nets head coach Steve Nash hinted that KD might be given the night off (h/t Ian Begley of SNY):
Steve Nash said the Nets will assess things with Kevin Durant tonight & tomorrow morning before a decision is made about his status for tomorrow’s game vs. PHI. Nash also said the availability of Kyrie Irving for Sixers game is still to be determined.
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) April 13, 2021
Durant led his team on Tuesday against the Wolves, finishing with a game-high 31 points against a Karl-Anthony Towns-less Wolves. While he looked perfectly fine, it would not be surprising if Brooklyn opts to load manage KD on Wednesday vs. the Sixers.
As for Irving, the All-Star point guard was unavailable for his team on Tuesday. Kyrie is currently away from the squad and is dealing with an undisclosed personal issue. No timetable has been set for his return, but according to coach Nash, there is a chance Irving suits up against Philly:
Steve Nash said Kyrie Irving's availability to play in Philadelphia tomorrow is "still to be determined." He missed today's game for personal reasons.
LaMarcus Aldridge — who is out with a non-COVID sickness — rejoining the team in Philly has also yet to be determined.
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) April 13, 2021
James Harden is also still out injured and is not expected to play on Wednesday. LaMarcus Aldridge is day-to-day with an illness and he too could sit out again against the Sixers.
Needless to say, the Nets could be extremely shorthanded when they face off against the Sixers. Philadelphia is one of the top teams in the NBA today and it will be very tough for Brooklyn to manage a victory against them with such a decimated lineup.