Nets are looking for boost vs Pacers with Kyrie Irving’s return

Nets are looking for boost vs Pacers with Kyrie Irving’s return

(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 2, 2021, Kyrie Irving # 11 of the Brooklyn Nets cheers from the bench during a preseason game against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by KEVORK DJANSEZIAN / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP)

Kyrie Irving’s teammates are excited about his upcoming season debut as a part-time player, and the Brooklyn Nets would be thrilled if it coincided with them getting some recent performance issues fixed.

Irving is expected to make his season debut on Wednesday, and the Nets hope to stop the season’s worst three-game losing streak when they visit the Indiana Pacers.

Irving is only eligible to appear in road games due to being unvaccinated against COVID-19 and New York City’s vaccine mandate. He can appear in road games that are not against the New York Knicks, Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors due to local vaccine mandates.

Initially, the Nets rejected the concept that Irving appeared in road fights, but changed their position on December 17th. When Brooklyn gave in, it was in the middle of a COVID-19 outburst that caused three suspensions, leaving the team in need of players.

Nets then signed four players on 10-day contracts via distress.

Less than a day after he was reinstated as a player, Irving then landed in the health and safety records along with stars Kevin Durant and James Harden, who play an average of about 37 minutes per game. match.

“I know a lot of emotions go through his head. As teammates, we have to be there to support him from the beginning,” Durant said.

Irving appears in his 75th regular season game since joining the Nets alongside Durant in 2019. He averaged 26.9 points in 54 games last season when he became the fourth player in NBA history to average had at least 25 points, shot at least 50 percent from the floor, 40 percent from the 3-point range and 90 percent from the free-throw line.

Irving then averaged 22.7 points in nine postseason games before suffering an ankle injury in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Irving cleared the records on Dec. 28, two days before the Nets began their longest slip with a 110-102 home loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. They followed it up with another fourth-quarter break in a 120-116 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday and never led in a 118-104 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday.

“He’s a special talent, but there are things we need to fix internally and individually that can help us,” Harden said after the Nets gave up 23 offensive boards, 29 second-chance points and followed up on the whole. 28. “Adding Kyrie back becomes more special.”

Indiana looks set to stop a season-long run of five games after a 104-94 loss to the Knicks on Tuesday as it scored 39 points in the second half. The Pacers are also 2-8 in their last 10 games.

During the slip-up, the Pacers have not lost by more than 10 points and play with eight players on the records, including top scorer Malcolm Brogdon, rookie Chris Duarte, Jeremy Lamb and former Net Caris LeVert, who averaged 17.8 points.

These absences forced the Pacers to add players like Keifer Sykes and Duane Washington Jr. on 10-day contracts. Sykes and Washington Jr. were bright spots by scoring 22 and 17, respectively, on Tuesday as the Pacers shot 42.1 percent and missed 29 of 38 3-point attempts.

“There’s so much to like about the effort, how hard we played,” Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said. “The level of physicality, struggle and stuff like that was really good. We made some mistakes. Defensively, we could never really get a grip. “

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