Kyrie Irving and D'Angelo Russell
Kyrie Irving and D'Angelo Russell

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

Even in the wake of Wilson Chandler's suspension, the Nets have plenty of depth. 

First, there's the returning young core of Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie, Jarrett Allen, Joe Harris and Rodions Kurucs. Then there are the are the Nets' less heralded offseason additions: Taurean Prince, Garrett Temple, and David Nwaba.

So it would be overly simplistic to say that, until Kevin Durant comes back, this Nets season is largely about Kyrie Irving's fit in Brooklyn vs. how D'Angelo Russell would have fit with the group. 

Dozens of different factors will determine whether the Nets succeed in Durant's absence. Irving's play is just one of them. 

 

But it's also fair to see Irving vs. Russell as a point of comparison for the Nets this year. Russell, of course, helped lead the Nets to the playoffs last season. He left the team as a restricted free agent, earning a $117 million contract in a sign-and-trade with Golden State. That transaction made room for Irving, Durant, and DeAndre Jordan to sign with Brooklyn. 

Given the sequence of events, it's only natural for fans to wonder how things would have gone in Brooklyn this season if the club had kept Russell (which, of course, probably keeps them from signing Durant).

With all of that in mind, we talked to a few scouts to gauge their thoughts on Irving's fit with Brooklyn as a replacement for Russell, how the Nets may need to adjust to Irving, and how the six-time All Star may have to adapt to his new team.

GENERAL IMPRESSIONS OF KYRIE REPLACING D'ANGELO 

WESTERN CONFERENCE SCOUT I: "I think Kyrie's a superstar. D'Angelo's going to be a really good player. But Kyrie is just at the next level. If his head's straight and he's going to be all in, with the core they have, I think (the Nets) have a really bright future (with Irving)….I think (replacing Russell with Irving) is an upgrade. That's nothing against Russell, because I thought he had a helluva year. But Kyrie, when the cylinders are all clicking, he is really, really hard to stop. If he's going to be a willing passer - and I haven't seen anything that would indicate that on a consistent basis, he isn't that - there's going to be a lot of open jump shots for the perimeter players. I think Kyrie is more capable (than Russell) of really getting into the seams and creating and finding people, and really taking things to the rim and scoring. He's a helluva player. He just has that mindset. Again, nothing against Russell - he had a great season. He earned his keep and played really, really well. But I think Kyrie, again, he's at the next level." 

WESTERN CONFERENCE SCOUT II: "Obviously, I understand why they signed Kyrie because that's the only way they're getting KD. But I would say for this group, I thought D'Angelo was better, to be honest with you. He was younger, healthier than Kyrie. And just the way (Nets head coach) Kenny (Atkinson) wanted to play, I thought D'Angelo fit better.

"I know D'Angelo can dominate the ball at times. But I feel like D'Angelo does more with less dribbles than Kyrie. And I think that will affect some of the other players, who will end up standing around watching (Kyrie). So it'll be interesting to see if Kenny changes the style of play to fit Kyrie or if they try to get Kyrie to fit what they do." 

WHAT MAY BE DIFFERENT FOR THE NETS THIS SEASON UNDER KYRIE? 

Spencer Pearlman, an analyst who worked as a draft consultant for the Suns in 2019: "In regards to Kyrie's role, I think it will be really similar to Russell's role last year, only way more efficient and with way more downhill attacks. Russell lived in the mid-range and had far fewer drives and attempts at the rim than Irving. However, they are both pick-and-roll heavy and 'iso' heavy players. Russell had roughly 400 more scoring attempts in the (pick-and-roll), so it's safe to say that Kyrie's number will go up a good amount also in Brooklyn. Given that Kyrie was in the 86th percentile as a PnR scorer last year, that bodes well for the Nets' offense. Even if the efficiency drops a bit (which should happen given an increase in volume and fewer offensive playmakers in Brooklyn this year than in Boston last year), I believe Kyrie's efficiency as a PnR scorer will stay above Russell's. I would also expect to see more downhill attacks off the screens from Irving (including more drive and kicks, rim attempts, and fouls drawn), but fewer shots from mid-range than Russell took last season. 

WESTERN CONFERENCE SCOUT I: "I'm not sure (Atkinson's) going to have to make a lot of changes because it's just such a pick-and-roll league. He's got some pretty good perimeter shooters. I've never really looked at Kyrie as being an overly selfish player. I think he'll move the ball. And I think there's times when he, as all players who are at his level, sometimes they roll the dice and say, 'Hey, I wanna win this game for my team (and take a tough shot).' You know, maybe 70% of the time they'll do it (and make a winning play). Then the other 30%, you know, they'll take some bad shots at the end of games. That comes along with being an All-Star, superstar level player, that their mindset is, 'I'm going to take the last shot.' 

"I also feel that Kyrie's capable of really excelling in an open court game and I think that Kenny does a great job of getting his wing players out and running hard whether it's Joe Harris or Kurucs. Those guys, they're going to run and Kyrie's going to have people to throw it to - unless he starts getting some sticky fingers. The good thing about that is if the wing players run hard to the baseline and flatten the defense out, Kyrie's going to have some areas to really attack and he could wreak havoc."

WESTERN CONFERENCE SCOUT II: "There won't be as much sharing of the ball (with Irving running the offense). With D'Angelo, he got a lot of stuff after ball reversal and then got into his pick and roles. I think Kyrie is going to want to handle it to start and play out of pick and roll early. And then he'll share the ball late if nothing's there for him. So I think that'll be a little bit different, in terms of the movement and actions that they had in the past.

"I thought because they always had multiple ball handlers (on the court last season), it was kind of passed around equally. With Spencer, Caris and D'Angelo, two of them were on the court together a lot. So it wasn't like a primary ball handler situation (last season). Now I think Kyrie's gonna want the ball in his hands as a primary ball handler. (But for it to work well in Brooklyn this season), everything wouldn't run through Kyrie. Sometimes Caris or Spencer would have it - and then Kyrie would still probably get the majority of it. But (Irving) would have to share more than he did in the past."

Pearlman: "(Something to look at is) catch-and-shoot ability. The Nets played Russell off ball last year a good amount when paired with Dinwiddie and though he was efficient in catch-and-shoot situations (67th percentile), Kyrie was far more efficient (88th percentile) on 10 more attempts. This too bodes well for roster fit (and) Kyrie's replacing of Russell's role. I think Kyrie's shooting form might also lead to some more hard action off ball. Russell's slower release made it more difficult to run him hard off screens for catch-and-shoot attempts. This should further space the court for the Nets if you have Dinwiddie running point with Harris and Irving running baseline actions. 

"Passing wise, Russell and Kyrie are close to a wash. Russell probably has an edge in terms of vision, but Kyrie is slightly less turnover prone. With shot selection, Kyrie will drive far more than Russell did, leading to more drive and kicks, shots at the rim, and fouls drawn.

"Kyrie also brings elite shooting ability (39% on 5.7 attempts per game over his career, 40.3 on 6.9 attempts over the last 3 years) and finishing ability (59.5% around the basket, according to Synergy) to the Nets. 

"Given the Nets' roster construction and knowing they will be playing without Durant for most of the year, if not the entire season, Kyrie's ability to handle a huge offensive load and stay efficient will be key. In Boston, Irving had a TS% of 60%, which is *incredibly* efficient on roughly 31.6% usage (above the 91st percentile, both stats according to Cleaning the Glass). To maintain that efficiency on that usage is insane. 

"(Regarding play types), the Nets and the Celtics had the same four most used plays last season, according to Synergy (though in slightly different order). This bodes well for Irving's transition from Boston to the Nets because even though the systems aren't entirely the same, there are similarities in terms of ball movement and shot selection." 

WESTERN CONFERENCE SCOUT II: "(For it to work), Kyrie's going to have to show that he can make the players around him better. I think D'Angelo made those guys around him better (last season) just because he allowed them to play, so we'll see if (Kyrie) can make Caris better and if Joe Harris is going to get the same shots coming off screens that he got (last season). Or if Jarett Allen's going to get as many lobs at the rim as he did with D'Angelo. So it will be interesting." 



WHAT ABOUT INTANGIBLES?

WESTERN CONFERENCE SCOUT I: "Overall, I think what Kenny has created there is a winning, likable culture and my sense is that it's a pretty strong foundation. I think Kenny and Sean Marks and those guys have done a great job in the kind of developing this below the radar plan that they've had. They've done a good job molding the team and having an identity, a willing work ethic, moving the ball and running the floor, I think it's all positive. But nothing's ever perfect. You know that. There will always be guys bitching. And if it starts going negative (this year), you know how it is, people are going to start pointing their fingers at Kyrie. A lot of it is on Kyrie to make it continue to work (this season)."

WESTERN CONFERENCE SCOUT II: "Obviously, D'Angelo's personality fit the group better. I don't know how Kyrie's personality is going to rub these guys and if it's Kyrie, KD, and Deandre and then the rest of the group (in cliques, that could be an issue)…. One of the greatest things about last year was how they all pulled for each other. You know, I felt like even guys who felt like they should have been playing and weren't still cared about their teammates and pulled for each other. Now, with some of those guys (like Jared Dudley, DeMarre Carroll and Ed Davis) gone, and if it's a team divided, how do they respond?

"And also, the expectation is different now with Kyrie so does the pressure bother the younger guys? Can they handle the pressure and the expectations that they really didn't have last year? There was no expectation last year. Now it's, there's gonna be a lot of pressure because Kyrie wants them to be better than last year. If they're not, without KD, it's like, 'Well, s--t, D'Angelo is better than Kyrie.' Kyrie is going to have to make the players around him better, which he didn't do in Boston. You're going to have to make Caris better (this season). You can argue that those kids in Boston played better without Kyrie, so that's something to watch. There's going to be a lot of different scenarios and different pressures that these guys have faced that they haven't in the past."

Tags: Caris LeVert, D'Angelo Russell, Jarrett Allen, Spencer Dinwiddie, Ian Begley
Comments

Kyrie Irving and LeBron James played three seasons together with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and while their relationship was reportedly strained at times, the duo combined to reach three NBA Finals and capture an NBA title in 2015-16.

On Thursday night, Irving and James went head-to-head as the Nets hosted the Lakers at Barclays Center, with the Lakers coming away with a 128-113 win.

James finished with a triple-double, scoring 27 points, grabbing 12 rebounds, and adding 10 assists. Irving, meanwhile, finished with a team-leading 20 points to go along with four assists.

Read More
Comments

The Nets are scuffling of late, having dropped 11 of their last 13 games.

The road doesn't get any easier for Brooklyn, as the Los Angeles Lakers -- owners of the NBA's best record in the West at 35-9 -- come to Barclays Center for a matchup on Thursday.

Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson and point guard Spencer Dinwiddie know the challenge of trying to slow down LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the rest of the high-powered Lakers.

Tags: Spencer Dinwiddie
Read More
Comments

The Nets had no answer for Ben Simmons on Monday, who finished with a triple-double (34 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists) as the Sixers knocked off Brooklyn 117-111.

Despite Simmons' big game, head coach Kenny Atkinson spotted some other areas of concern for his team.

"Obviously there are two big keys to this game," Atkinson said. "Give them credit for the first one, they turned us over a ton, 22 turnovers. Then I thought they really hurt us on the glass."

Tags: Jarrett Allen
Read More
Comments

Jan 18, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving watches play against the Milwaukee Bucks from the bench during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jan 18, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving watches play against the Milwaukee Bucks from the bench during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The return of Kyrie Irving from his right shoulder impingement, an injury that sidelined him for 26 straight games, has given the Nets an interesting past week.

After the star point guard's career-high outing in his first game back, last Sunday's 108-86 win over the Atlanta Hawks, the days that ensued ensued with losses on the court and outside criticism off it.

Following Saturday's 117-97 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, which marked the Nets' third straight and 10 in their past 13 games, Irving kept a positive outlook on Brooklyn's 2019-20 season -- one he believes still includes the playoffs.

Read More
Comments

Kyrie Irving had some strong words to say as he spoke with the media at Nets practice Friday afternoon.

The point guard defended the way he pushes his teammates and the organizations he's played for, after being criticized over comments he made earlier in the week.

"It's a telltale sign of the career that I've had," Irving said. "Some of the moves that I've made individually, and then as well as coming to different enviornments and organizations. ...It's not like I'm an a--hole yelling at everybody in the freaking locker room all the time and you hear all these stories." 

Read More
Comments

Kyrie Irving (Bill Streicher)
Kyrie Irving (Bill Streicher)

After losing their second straight game and eighth in the last 10 games, Kyrie Irving had some interesting post-game comments. 

Irving has only been back three games after dealing with shoulder bursitis, and the Nets are 1-2 in that span. However, losing to the 76ers -- a top seed in the Eastern Conference at 31-16 -- the All-Star point guard was asked about whether or not Brooklyn can compete with teams like Philadelphia. 

Here's what Irving had to say on the matter:

Read More
Comments

Donovan Mitchell's New York roots run deep, and on Tuesday night he returned to the Empire State as the Utah Jazz visited the Brooklyn Nets.

Mitchell, an Elmsford, N.Y. native whose father works as the Mets Director of Player Relations and Community Engagement, scored 25 points and added dour assists in Utah's 118-107 win at Barclays Center.

After the game, Mitchell said that he always enjoys coming back home to New York. 

"For some reason I was kind of nervous to start the game, just being back home and getting the nerves or whatever," Mitchell said. "I always love being back home in front of my friends and family, and I think we've won pretty much most of the times when we're back home, so it's been good."

Read More
Comments

Jan 12, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Vince Carter (15) dribbles up court during the second quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Jan 12, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Vince Carter (15) dribbles up court during the second quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

While Kyrie Irving's return from injury was the main story in Sunday's 108-86 Nets win over the Hawks, the star point guard's career-best shooting performance wasn't the only headline coming out of Barclays Center.

Against the Nets for the final time, Hawks small forward Vince Carter got his farewell. As he gets set to retire from the NBA after 22 seasons, the former New Jersey star from 2004-09 made one last appearance before Nets fans.

A fan of the team while growing up in West Orange, NJ, Irving idolized Carter and former star point guard Jason Kidd. Reflecting on Carter's impact, Irving did not mince words when asked about how the Nets should honor him.

Read More
Comments

For the first time since Nov. 14, Kyrie Irving was back in uniform with the Nets, who welcomed the star point guard back with open arms in Sunday's 108-86 rout of the Atlanta Hawks.

Brooklyn's second straight win followed Friday's 117-113 comeback victory against the Miami Heat (27-12), as they throttled the Hawks (8-32) behind Irving's game-high 21 points on a career-best 91 percent (10-of-11) shooting.

Head coach Kenny Atkinson recapped Irving's return to action for the first time in 26 games, while center Jarrett Allen added more on how the point guard's offensive involvement gave the the Nets (18-20) a much-needed boost to cap the weekend at Barclays Center.

Tags: Jarrett Allen
Read More
Comments

After he missed 26 straight games with his right shoulder impingement, Kyrie Irving came back for Sunday's game against the Atlanta Hawks and starred.

Among his game-high 21 points, Irving shot a personal-best 91 percent from the field, making 10 of 11 shots, as the Nets welcomed back their starting point guard and rolled to a 108-86 win over the Hawks at Barclays Center in New York.

"It was kind of a long road back," Irving said after the win. "A lot of questions I had to answer (about the) health of my shoulder, longevity, what would have been the best option for my health long-term. Once I got that foundation set, it was easy to make that decision (to return to the court)."

Read More
Comments

Kyrie Irving will officially return to the Nets lineup Sunday night against the Hawks, the team announced.

Brooklyn hasn't seen Irving take the court for them since Nov. 14, as the star point guard had been dealing with a right shoulder injury for the last two months.

Read More
Comments

Mar 24, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Sean Marks general manager of the Brooklyn Nets talks at a press conference announcing the Long Island Nets D League team before the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Anthony Gruppuso)
Mar 24, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Sean Marks general manager of the Brooklyn Nets talks at a press conference announcing the Long Island Nets D League team before the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports (Anthony Gruppuso)

Nearing the halfway mark of the NBA season, the Brooklyn Nets find themselves eighth in the Eastern Conference with a 17-20 record. Offense has been a major problem. Brooklyn is ranked just 24th in offensive efficiency through 37 games. 

Brooklyn's shot profile is a modern NBA analytics dream. According to Basketball Reference, Brooklyn is ranked first in shots attempted around the rim (34.8 percent) and sixth in three-point attempt rate (41.7 percent). The problem is that the Nets are third worst in the league in three-point percentage at 32.9 percent and they are converting just 62.4 percent of their attempts around the rim. That is the fifth-worst mark in the association.

Having Kyrie Irving and Caris LeVert miss significant time due to injury hurt as the Nets lost two of their key ball handlers. Irving and LeVert help break down the defense and open up the three-point shots that the Nets heavily rely on in their offense.

Tags: Caris LeVert, DeAndre Jordan, Joe Harris, Rodions Kurucs
Read More
Comments

Nov 14, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the second half against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)
Nov 14, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the second half against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)

Kyrie Irving's anticipated return to the Nets is going to happen on Sunday. 

When the Nets host the Atlanta Hawks at 6 p.m., Irving is expected to be back, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. 

Irving has missed nearly two months with a right shoulder injury. 

Read More
Comments

Kevin Durant and Kendrick Perkins clearly have an unresolved beef that may still need settling.

From The Thread, here's what the disagreement between the former Thunder teammates might have sounded like if it hadn't happened over the internet.

Read More
Comments

One night after getting into it with a radio host on Twitter, Kevin Durant was at it again on Thursday night, this time getting into a Twitter spat with his former teammate, Kendrick Perkins.

It all started when Perkins, now an analyst with ESPN, tweeted out earlier in the day that he was going to explain why Russell Westbrook was the best player to ever put on an Oklahoma City Thunder jersey. Westbrook, now a Rocket, was making his return to OKC for the first time on Thursday night.

After an initial exchange with a Celtics team reporter, Perkins called out Durant for losing in the second round of the playoffs without Westbrook.

That's where Durant chimed in for the first time, bringing up how Perkins, who was the Thunder's starting center for the 2012-13 playoffs, averaged just two points and three rebounds in the postseason.

Read More
Comments

Nov 14, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the first quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)
Nov 14, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the first quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)

Nets star point guard Kyrie Irving spoke to reporters on Thursday after practice and gave some insight to his potential return.

"Hopefully I can get some game reps, in addition to this practice, but probably in the next week or so," Irving said. "It could be less than that. But I'm going to give myself a week, and see where we go from there after another evaluation."

Irving has been dealing with a shoulder impingement and shoulder bursitis that has kept him sidelined since Nov. 14.

Read More
Comments

Jan 7, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) after the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)
Jan 7, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) after the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)

Kevin Durant has not been hesitant to speak his mind on Twitter, and the injured Nets star was back at it again Wednesday when a radio host suggested that no one cares about Brooklyn's success or failures.

Brandon Tierney, a New York-based national media type for CBS Sports, said on Twitter early Wednesday that "no one cares" about the Nets' seven-game losing streak and that it "speaks volumes" to Brooklyn's relevance in a city shared by the Knicks.

Evidently brought to the attention of Durant, the former Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors forward who signed with the Nets over the Knicks and others for a four-year deal worth more then $164 million, the 10-time All-Star and four-time scoring champ unloaded.

Read More
Comments

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

LOS ANGELES - Jared Dudley's with the Lakers now, but he's more than qualified to analyze what's happened with the Brooklyn Nets this season. 

Dudley was an important on and off-court contributor for Brooklyn last season. He averaged five points in 20 minutes off the bench for the Nets and provided veteran leadership for young players like Caris LeVert and D'Angelo Russell

So his thoughts on the Nets carry more weight than others. 

Tags: Caris LeVert, D'Angelo Russell, Jarrett Allen, Spencer Dinwiddie, Ian Begley
Read More
Comments

Jarrett Allen was a non-stop human highlight reel for the Nets Tuesday night against the Thunder, putting up poster dunks and big blocks as Brooklyn lost a tight game in overtime at Barclays Center.

Allen put up 12 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks on the night, but his real highlights came in the air.

Early in the first quarter, Rodions Kurucs drove under the basket and threw a short shuffle pass to Allen, who then put Mike Muscala on a poster, on what is now in the running for dunk of the year.

Tags: Jarrett Allen
Read More
Comments

Nov 6, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Jared Dudley (left) grabs a rebound against Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker in the second half at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 6, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Jared Dudley (left) grabs a rebound against Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker in the second half at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

As the Nets gradually get Kyrie Irving and Caris LeVert back into the fold from respective injuries, one former Brooklyn player spoke out to defend the team's handling of the recovery processes.

Jared Dudley spent just one season -- the 2018-19 campaign -- with the Nets, but saw enough to know how players with injuries are taken care of.

Now with the Los Angeles Lakers, Dudley spoke out Sunday on Twitter when one fan account appeared to be critical of how the Nets' have approached Irving's and LeVert's injuries. 

Tags: Caris LeVert, Jared Dudley
Read More
Comments

Caris LeVert finally made his return to the court for the Nets on Saturday night against the Raptors, after missing the last 24 games with a thumb injury.

LeVert, who had surgery on his thumb on Nov. 14, was expected to be back within four-to-six weeks, but the recovery time went a little longer than expected and slid into a seventh week before Saturday.

In his first game, LeVert played 16 minutes off the bench and was very efficient with his time on the court, scoring 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting -- including hitting both his attempts from beyond the three-point line.

Tags: Caris LeVert
Read More
Comments

Kyrie Irving addressed the media at Barclays Center for the first time since injuring his shoulder in early November.

Irving, who has missed the Nets' previous 22 games (with Saturday's game against the Raptors being game 23), spoke about his shoulder impingement, confirming that he also had shoulder bursitis, which has been previously reported. Irving also explained how he opted for a cortisone shot over surgery, although surgery could still be in play.

Here are the five biggest takeaways from Irving's Saturday press conference:

Read More
Comments

 (NICOLE SWEET)
(NICOLE SWEET)

The Nets have waived two-way forward Henry Ellenson, it was reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Friday.

Ellenson averaged three minutes of play in just five games for Brooklyn this season.

Wojnarowski added that the Nets, who recently lost guard David Nwaba for the season due to a torn Achilles, will likely add another backcourt player on a two-way or 10-day contract.

Tags: Henry Ellenson
Read More
Comments

Apr 10, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert (22) brings the ball up court in the first quarter against the Miami Heat at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Apr 10, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert (22) brings the ball up court in the first quarter against the Miami Heat at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

While the Nets still patiently await the return of Kyrie Irving, the team is set to regain the other key piece of their starting backcourt.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Caris LeVert is expected to return to the lineup on Saturday against the Raptors.

LeVert has missed seven weeks due to right thumb surgery, which he underwent on November 14. His recovery process has lasted slightly longer than the team's initial four-to-six weeks diagnosis.

Tags: Caris LeVert
Read More
Comments

Dec 14, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Brooklyn Nets guard David Nwaba (0) drives to the basket as Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (43) tries to defend during the third quarter at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports (Nick Turchiaro)
Dec 14, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Brooklyn Nets guard David Nwaba (0) drives to the basket as Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (43) tries to defend during the third quarter at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports (Nick Turchiaro)

The Nets are waiving G/F David Nwaba, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Nwaba ruptured his right Achilles tendon on Dec. 19, 2019 against the San Antonio Spurs, and underwent successful surgery the following day.

The 26-year-old averaged 5.3 points and 2.3 rebounds in 13 minutes per game off the bench for the Nets.

Read More
Comments

Nov 4, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) and guard Caris LeVert (22) and head coach Kenny Atkinson react in the fourth quarter against the New Orleans Pelicans at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (NICOLE SWEET)
Nov 4, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) and guard Caris LeVert (22) and head coach Kenny Atkinson react in the fourth quarter against the New Orleans Pelicans at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (NICOLE SWEET)

Out of action since mid-November, Kyrie Irving and Caris LeVert remain out as the Brooklyn Nets' three-game road trip continues.

Ahead of Thursday's 8:30 p.m. ET game against the Dallas Mavericks, the Nets had a stacked injury report with six players on the list.

Among the handful, Garrett Temple is questionable with a right knee contusion. Nicolas Claxton is out due to left hamstring soreness.

Tags: Caris LeVert
Read More
Comments

Former NBA commissioner David Stern died Wednesday afternoon, 20 days after he was hospitalized Dec. 12 in New York upon suffering a brain hemorrhage, the league announced. He was 77.

Stern collapsed while at Brasserie 8 1/2 in Manhattan and was then rushed to the hospital for surgery, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported Dec. 12.

The NBA released the following statement from current commissioner Adam Silver.

Read More
Comments

 (David Berding)
(David Berding)

The Nets lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves in overtime on Monday, 122-115, their third straight loss and fourth in the last five games. 

Head coach Kenny Atkinson was less than enthused with his team's effort in the loss.

"Just an unacceptable performanace by us," Atkinson said. "We were lucky to get to overtime, to be honest. Even at halftime, I thought that. We're just not playing at a high level. We're not playing up to Nets standards and it's hard to figure out why."

Read More
Comments

Dec 28, 2019; Houston, Texas, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) shoots the ball as Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook (0) defends during the first quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)
Dec 28, 2019; Houston, Texas, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) shoots the ball as Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook (0) defends during the first quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)

As Kyrie Irving continues to remain out of the Nets lineup, Spencer Dinwiddie has continued to see more and more usage on offense. 

With that comes different looks on defense, and following Saturday's 108-98 loss to the Rockets, Dinwiddie took the blame for not being able to adjust to what Houston was throwing at him.

"We boxed-and-1 [James] Harden and Harden had 40. He still found a way to manufacture points for his team," Dinwiddie said. "There are no excuses. … If I do my job, we win this game. That's kind of what it is at the end of the day."

Tags: Spencer Dinwiddie
Read More
Comments

Nets guard Kyrie Irving has now missed the team's last 19 games, with the most recent being Thursday's 94-82 loss to the Knicks.

And while the team has said that Irving has not yet been cleared for contact because of his shoulder impingement injury, could there be more to the All-Star's absence?

NBA analyst Ric Bucher was a guest on WFAN on Friday, and when asked about Irving's status, Bucher said that he's been hearing that there's more than meets the eye with the situation.

Read More
Comments

The Knicks took advantage of an awful shooting night by the Nets, topping Brooklyn 94-82 at Barclays Center. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Thursday's game

1) Neither team shot the ball particularly well on Thursday night. In the first half, the Nets shot just 26.7 percent from the floor, and while the Knicks were only slightly better at 34 percent, New York was able to take advantage of a red-hot half from Julius Randle to jump out to a 46-41 lead at the half. 

In the third quarter, the Knicks began to pull away. Randle stayed hot, while Elfrid Payton and Marcus Morris also had some key plays, and the Knicks jumped out to an 18-point lead after three, outscoring the Nets 33-20 in the third quarter. In the fourth, the Nets' shooting woes continued, and the Knicks were able to maintain a double-digit lead, hanging on for the win.

Tags: Mitchell Robinson, Spencer Dinwiddie
Read More
Comments

Oct 27, 2019; Memphis, TN, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) celebrates making a shot against the Memphis Grizzlies during the first quarter at the FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)
Oct 27, 2019; Memphis, TN, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) celebrates making a shot against the Memphis Grizzlies during the first quarter at the FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)

On Tuesday, reports came out that Nets guard Kyrie Irving could be out another two to three weeks due to his shoulder injury, but head coach Kenny Atkinson said on Thursday that's not the case.

The original report stated that the Nets are now referring to the injury internally as a "thoracic bursitis," though a "shoulder impingement" was the initial diagnosis given by the team. 

"I don't want to comment on a report because what you're telling me - whatever that report said is not true. We're still in the same place the last time I talked," Atkinson said before Thursday's game against the Knicks. "Like I said, the thing is we haven't gotten to the contact with him. We're on-court workout situation but the contact just hasn't been cleared yet. I think that's the next hurdle. I wish I could tell you when that is. Hopefully sooner rather than later."

Tags: Spencer Dinwiddie
Read More
Comments

Kyrie Irving (Jerome Miron)
Kyrie Irving (Jerome Miron)

Kyrie Irving's road to recovery appears to still be a bumpy one.

Sidelined with what had initially been termed a "right shoulder impingement," Irving could remain out of the lineup for another two to three weeks, according to a report cited in the New York Daily News. The original reporting comes from Heavy.com.

The report also indicates that the organization is now privately referring to Irving's injury as "thoracic bursitis."

Tags: Spencer Dinwiddie
Read More
Comments

Nov 14, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Brooklyn Net head coach Kenny Atkinson and guard Kyrie Irving (11) talk in the fourth quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)
Nov 14, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Brooklyn Net head coach Kenny Atkinson and guard Kyrie Irving (11) talk in the fourth quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)

Saturday night's game against the Atlanta Hawks will be the 18th straight game that Kyrie Irving has missed, and it doesn't sound like he's getting any closer to a return.

Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson told reporters at Barclays Center that Irving has still not been cleared for contact due to his shoulder impingement. Originally, Atkinson said that the Irving would be cleared for contact within a week or two, but that clearly has not been the case.

Irving originally suffered his injury against the Utah Jazz on November 12, but he attempted to play through the pain. He played 35 minutes against Denver two nights later, but was sidelined after that.

In his first season with the Nets, Irving has averaged 28.5 points, 7.2 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game. The All-Star guard scored 50 points in his Nets' debut, though the team dropped the game to Minnesota.

Tags: Spencer Dinwiddie
Read More
Comments

Dec 15, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard David Nwaba (0) goes to the basket against Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris (12) and guard Josh Richardson (0) during the first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Dec 15, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard David Nwaba (0) goes to the basket against Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris (12) and guard Josh Richardson (0) during the first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Nets announced that guard/forward David Nwaba underwent successful surgery on Friday to repair his ruptured right Achilles, ending his season. The surgery was performed by Dr. Martin O'Malley at the Hospital for Special Surgery.

Nwaba down during the opening minutes of the fourth quarter in Thursday's 118-105 loss to the Spurs in San Antonio.

"We can talk about the game, but I'm concerned about David Nwaba, (he) hurt himself out there tonight," Kenny Atkinson told reporters after the game. "That's really where our thoughts are. It's tough to focus on the game right now. He's playing as well as anybody on our team, so tough blow. That's kind of where our hearts and mind are right now."

In his first season with Brooklyn, the 26-year-old has averaged 5.3 points and 2.3 rebounds in 13 minutes per game. He's come on strong for the Nets in his last six games, averaging 9.3 points while shooting 50 percent from the floor. 

Read More
Comments

Nov 29, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets injured players Kyrie Irving (left) and Kevin Durant talk during a timeout against Boston Celtics during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 29, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets injured players Kyrie Irving (left) and Kevin Durant talk during a timeout against Boston Celtics during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

While the Nets entered the week on Sunday hopeful for Kyrie Irving's return to practice, Brooklyn's star point guard is not quite ready.

Prior to Wednesday's 7:30 p.m. game against the Charlotte Hornets (10-16), Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson told reporters that Irving is not cleared for contact.

Out for 13 straight games, Irving has not played since Nov. 14's 101-93 win over the Denver Nuggets.

Read More
Comments

Nov 18, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) watches game against the Indiana Pacers from the bench during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Nov 18, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) watches game against the Indiana Pacers from the bench during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Out for 12 games since he last played in Nov. 14's 101-93 loss to the Denver Nuggets, Kyrie Irving has missed almost the past month of the Brooklyn Nets' early 2019-20 season.

But as his right shoulder impingement recovery progresses, the star point guard is trending in the right direction.

While the Nets are likely to be without him on the court for the next week, head coach Kenny Atkinson provided a positive update on Irving, who could be back at practice within the next week or two.

Tags: Spencer Dinwiddie
Read More
Comments

Nov 14, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) warms up before a game against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)
Nov 14, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) warms up before a game against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)

Kyrie Irving's injury has kept the star point guard out for the Nets' past 10 games, including Wednesday's 130-118 win over the Hawks at State Farm Arena, and the absence could extend "a few more weeks."

Irving, who has been sidelined with a right shoulder impingement since starting Nov. 14's 101-93 loss to the Denver Nuggets, would be "lucky" if he could return several weeks from now, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post.

Head coach Kenny Atkinson addressed Irving's injury before the team's leading scorer and facilitator missed his third straight game Nov. 20, when he sat for the Nets' 101-91 win over the Charlotte Hornets.

Tags: Spencer Dinwiddie
Read More
Comments

Jan 19, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett reacts from the bench during the second half of a game against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center. The Pelicans defeated the Timberwolves 114-99. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports (Derick E. Hingle)
Jan 19, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett reacts from the bench during the second half of a game against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center. The Pelicans defeated the Timberwolves 114-99. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports (Derick E. Hingle)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Former Celtics great Kevin Garnett wasn't surprised that Kyrie Irving left Boston in the offseason to sign with the Brooklyn Nets. 

"No," Garnett said during an interview in New York to promote the film, 'Uncut Gems,' which stars Garnett and Adam Sandler and will be released on Christmas. 

Garnett explained why he wasn't shocked that Irving didn't want to re-sign with the Celtics. 

Read More
Comments

Kyrie Irving has been out of the lineup since Nov. 14 with a right shoulder impingement. The 27-year-old was averaging 28.5 points over his first 11 games in a Nets uniform, and his absence left a major void in the team's offensive production.

Enter Spencer Dinwiddie. Since being inserted into the starting lineup, the Colorado product has been the Nets' linchpin, averaging 24.5 points and 7.8 assists over the last eight games. The Nets are 6-2 in those games. 

"The role is completely different so obviously, there is a change there," Dinwiddie said after Friday's 112-107 win over the Celtics. "My approach to the game is very similar either way. It's whatever the team needs to win and then the role kind of dictates what that is. Sometimes it will be defense, sometimes it will be offense."

Tags: Spencer Dinwiddie
Read More
Comments

Feb 13, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Dressed in street clothes, Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) has a laugh with guard Marcus Smart (36) during the second half against the Detroit Pistons at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports (Winslow Townson)
Feb 13, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Dressed in street clothes, Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) has a laugh with guard Marcus Smart (36) during the second half against the Detroit Pistons at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports (Winslow Townson)

On Wednesday, Nets point guard and former Celtic Kyrie Irving was booed throughout the game, despite not even being in attendance as he recovers from a shoulder injury.

After the game, Irving spoke out on his Instagram story, calling the criticism from Boston fans "ignorant and obtrusive." Even Celtics guard Jaylen Brown -- a teammate of Irving's in Boston -- said there was no need for Celtics fans to boo Irving

The Nets and Celtics played each other again on Friday, as Irving was in attendance at the Barclays Center, but did not play. Some of his former Celtics teammates, including guard Marcus Smart and center Robert Williams, shared hugs with Irving and spoke about their relationship with him after the game.

Read More
Comments

After the Nets' 112-107 win over the Celtics on Friday afternoon, head coach Kenny Atkinson told the media that Kyrie Irving will not play on Sunday against the Heat in Brooklyn.

"First thing about Kyrie, he started on-court work, which is a real positive sign for us," Atkinson said. "He will be out for Miami. And then we'll see how it progresses. The fact that he started the oncourt work is good news for us. Out for Miami and then we'll see going forward."

It will be the ninth-straight game that Irving has missed, as the point guard is dealing with a right shoulder impingement that has kept him out since Nov. 14.

Tags: Spencer Dinwiddie
Read More
Comments

Kyrie Irving (Nicole Sweet)
Kyrie Irving (Nicole Sweet)

Nets star point guard Kyrie Irving will miss his eighth-straight game on Friday when the team plays the Celtics in Brooklyn, the team announced.

Irving hasn't played since Nov. 14 against the Nuggets, as the New Jersey native has been dealing with a shoulder injury.

It was announced on Nov. 22 that Irving would not play in the team's next three games -- against the Knicks, Cavaliers, and Celtics.

Read More
Comments

Feb 16, 2019; Charlotte, NC, USA; Team Lebron forward Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warrior (35) handles the ball against Team Lebron guard Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics (11) during NBA All-Star Game practice at the Bojangles Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports (Bob Donnan)
Feb 16, 2019; Charlotte, NC, USA; Team Lebron forward Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warrior (35) handles the ball against Team Lebron guard Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics (11) during NBA All-Star Game practice at the Bojangles Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports (Bob Donnan)

Kyrie Irving took to Instagram after Wednesday's 121-110 loss for the Nets against the Celtics at TD Garden in Boston featured boos and chants directed toward the point guard, and the actions evidently did not sit well with teammate Kevin Durant.

Irving, who fired back at Celtics fans' criticism by calling the actions "ignorant and obtrusive," was not in attendance for the anticipated return to face his former team as he missed the Nets' seventh straight game with a right shoulder impingement.

Irving's absence did not stop Celtics fans' negativity, despite Boston head coach Brad Stevens' pregame plea and wing Jaylen Brown's postgame take.

Read More
Comments

Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving was the subject of boos and chants from Celtics fans on Wednesday night as the team hosted the Nets.

Irving, who wasn't even traveling with the team as he continues to sit out with a shoulder injury, drew the ire of Celtics fans for electing to leave the team to sign a max contract with the Nets this past offseason.

Following the Celtics' win over Brooklyn, Irving fired back against all the criticism coming his way, via a post to his Instagram story. 

Read More
Comments

Jan 16, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) congratulates guard Jaylen Brown (7) after a score during the second half against the New Orleans Pelicans at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)
Jan 16, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) congratulates guard Jaylen Brown (7) after a score during the second half against the New Orleans Pelicans at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)

Kyrie Irving did not play -- let alone attend -- at TD Garden in Boston, where the Nets suffered Wednesday's 121-110 loss to the Celtics, but the crowd of 19,156 let their feelings be known about the team's former star point guard as they booed throughout the night.

Irving missed his seventh straight game as he recovers from a right shoulder impingement, but Celtics fans still chanted "Kyrie sucks" among other actions to share their thoughts on the former Boston star, who spurned the team for the Nets after two years from 2017-19.

But one of Irving's former teammates, Celtics guard Jaylen Brown, believes that the fans should focus less on frustrations from the past two seasons and instead pay attention to Boston's strong start.

Read More
Comments

 (Ron Chenoy)
(Ron Chenoy)

Kyrie Irving isn't playing for the Nets on Wednesday night. In fact, he's not even with the team in Boston. 

But Celtics fans didn't seem to care.

As the Nets and Celtics matched up at TD Garden in a game that was supposed to be Irving's first trip back to Boston since leaving the Celtics for the Nets in free agency, the Boston fans had a lot to say about their former point guard.

During the first quarter, loud "Kyrie sucks!" chants broke out throughout the TD Garden.

Read More
Comments

Dec 19, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) talks with head coach Brad Stevens during the second half against the Phoenix Suns at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports  (Winslow Townson)
Dec 19, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) talks with head coach Brad Stevens during the second half against the Phoenix Suns at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports (Winslow Townson)

Kyrie Irving is not with the Nets in Boston for Wednesday's 7 p.m. game at TD Garden against the Celtics, but Brad Stevens received plenty of questions before tip-off about the team's point guard from 2017-19.

Out for the seventh straight game as he nurses his right shoulder impingement, Irving misses his return to Boston but he still gets backlash from fans, including signs posted outside the arena calling Irving a "coward."

Stevens, who coached Irving for the past two seasons in Boston and has been with the Celtics since 2013, said during his pregame media availability that the team's lack of success did not fall on the point guard.

Read More
Comments

Oct 30, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets center DeAndre Jordan (6) reacts after a technical foul during the second half against the Indiana Pacers at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Oct 30, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets center DeAndre Jordan (6) reacts after a technical foul during the second half against the Indiana Pacers at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

As the Nets get set to take on the Celtics, Kyrie Irving is not the only Brooklyn player who will miss Wednesday's 7 p.m. tip-off at TD Garden in Boston.

Along with their star point guard, who is out for the seventh straight game as he recovers from his right shoulder impingement, they revealed Wednesday afternoon that center DeAndre Jordan would also sit due to left ankle soreness.

Starting shooting guard Caris LeVert (right thumb surgery) remains out indefinitely while star forward Kevin Durant (right Achilles rehab) is still unlikely to return in time for the 2019-20 season.

Tags: DeAndre Jordan
Read More
Comments