Kyrie IrvingPhoto: Getty ImagesMaybe, just maybe. Some of them were “pawns.”That’s what Kyrie Irving called “the media” before the season started, as he was coming off a failed attempt to not speak to reporters this season. Irving would eventually apologize for referring to professionals as the weakest piece on a chessboard, but feelings were hurt.But, on some level, did Irving have a point? Because all the drama — I’ll get to that in a second — and noise that once smothered Irving suddenly disappeared when he got back on the court. Taking shots at someone when they’re down and then going silent when they’re up is a pawn-like move. Keep that same energy for the good and the bad. The naysayers were quiet again last night, as the Nets defeated the Warriors 134-117 as Irving led Brooklyn with 23 points in Kevin Durant’s first game back in Oakland.This season has been a rollercoaster for Irving, as he’s only played 19 games so far. There was the “pawn” thing, others thought he should have been traded for James Harden, he took personal time away from the team without explaining why, then he was at his sister’s birthday party without a mask, he showed up on a Zoom call for Manhattan District Attorney candidate Tahanie Aboushi, and then we found out that Jackie MacMullan thinks he and other players are “property” of NBA teams. It got so ridiculous at one point that Stephen A. Smith said Irving should retire. G/O Media may get a commissionBut then, Irving started hoopin’. It’s like everyone had forgotten that he’s one of the best basketball players on Earth. 126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.27.35.23.Those are Irving’s scoring numbers for every game he’s played this season in Brooklyn, making him the Nets’ second-leading scorer. Irving is in the midst of the best statistical season of his career. His 27.6 points per game are a career-high. He’s shooting 95.1 percent from the free-throw line, 52.5 percent from the field, and 40.9 percent from deep. His assists and rebounds have taken a dip, but that could be due to a position change on his part.As the NBA is still trying to force its players into playing what will be remembered as the worst and most lethargic All-Star Game of all time, Irving is still projected to be named a starter as the second round of fan votes have come in. Fans still find joy in watching the enigmatic star do his thing.Kyrie Irving has always been “different.” It’s just who he is. And while at some point there will be more controversy due to something he did or said, it’s always funny to see how quickly the noise around him lessens as soon as he starts dribbling a basketball. Whenever drama vanishes that quickly, it usually means it was never anything to begin with. .
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Brooklyn Nets will head over to the Motor City on Tuesday to take on the slumping Detroit Pistons for their first meeting of the 2020-21 NBA season.The Brooklyn Nets have hit a rough patch as they enter this contest on a two-game losing streak. Two-time NBA champion Kevin Durant’s absence from their lineup has hampered the team’s performance of late. Head coach Steve Nash is hopeful Kyrie Irving will rejoin the team for their matchup with the Detroit Pistons. Irving missed their last outing against the Philadelphia 76ers due to a finger injury.Meanwhile, the Detroit Pistons are heading towards the NBA lottery as they have solidified their position as the worst-performing team in the Eastern Conference this season. The Detroit Pistons are coming off a double-overtime loss to the LA Lakers in their previous matchup that has extended their losing streak to four games.Match DetailsFixture: Brooklyn Nets vs Detroit Pistons – NBA Season 2020-21Date & Time: Tuesday, February 9th, 2021 7:00 PM ET (Wednesday 5:30 AM IST)Venue: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, MIBrooklyn Nets Preview
The Brooklyn Nets have fallen victim to the Covid-19 drama that has engulfed the association this season. Steve Nash has more trouble as Kevin Durant won’t be suiting up for his side as he is expected to re-join the team on Friday, as per reports in the media.In their last outing, the severely-depleted Brooklyn Nets were hammered by Joel Embiid and Co. for their eleventh loss of the campaign. James Harden was the only player available from the Nets’ star-studded trio. He dropped a near triple-double with 26 points to go along with ten boards and eight assists on the night.Kyrie Irving suiting up for their next outing could see a change in the Brooklyn Nets’ fortunes as they aim to get back to winning ways.Key Player – James Harden
James Harden of the Brooklyn Nets warms up before a game against the Atlanta HawksThree-time scoring champ James Harden will need to put aside his new role as a facilitator and make a splash on Tuesday night. He will need to pull out all the stops as a loss against the worst-performing team in the East will not sit right with Brooklyn Nets fans and league experts.In eleven games with the Nets, Harden is averaging 23.6 points, 8.1 assists, and 10.4 assists on 46.7% shooting from the floor.Brooklyn Nets Predicted LineupG Kyrie Irving, G James Harden, F Joe Harris, F Jeff Green, C DeAndre JordanDetroit Pistons PreviewThe Detroit Pistons are coming off a fiercely-competitive matchup against the LA Lakers, resulting in a double-overtime loss. As a result, the Detroit Pistons have extended their losing streak to four games. They have a dismal 5-18 season record ahead of their matchup with the Brooklyn Nets.
The Detroit Pistons have a couple of star-caliber players in their lineup but have failed to put together a cohesive unit that can turn the tides in their favor. That said, the Pistons did cause some trouble for the defending champs in both of their matchups this season. They could potentially create havoc for the short-handed Brooklyn Nets in their fixture on Tuesday night.Key Player – Jerami Grant Jerami Grant of the Detroit Pistons drives to the basket past P.J. Tucker of the Houston RocketsJerami Grant has been on fire in his last three outings, posting an impressive total of 80 points for his efforts. He led the charge in the loss against the Lakers with a team-high 32-point performance. His recent form suggests he will be the key player for the Detroit Pistons as they take on the Nets super team in their next matchup.In twenty-three games this season, Grant is averaging 24.0 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 3.0 assists on 44.7% shooting from the floor.Detroit Pistons Predicted LineupG Delon Wright, G Wayne Ellington, F Jerami Grant, F Blake Griffin, C Mason PlumleeNets vs Pistons Match Prediction The Brooklyn Nets need to do some damage control by adding a couple of wins. With Kyrie Irving set to return for this matchup, Harden will have enough help in the backcourt to come out strong and beat the Pistons with their offensive prowess.
Meanwhile, the Detroit Pistons haven’t had much going for them this campaign and will aim to steal the win at home. The Detroit Pistons will rely on Jerami Grant to heat up from the floor and counter the Nets’ scoring capabilities.Where to watch Nets vs Pistons?Local coverage of the game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Detroit Pistons will telecast on Fox Sports Detroit and the Yes Network. Fans can also live-stream the game via the NBA League Pass.
Published 08 Feb 2021, 18:31 IST