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Kevin Durant after loss to Heat: Nets miss Kyrie Irving

Kevin Durant in Miami Heat v Brooklyn Nets

BROOKLYN, NY - OCTOBER 27: Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat plays defense against Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets on October 27, 2021 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Nets without Kyrie Irving:


  • Last season: 12-6 record, 113.2 offensive rating
  • This season: 2-3 record, 100.6 offensive rating

After Brooklyn’s 106-93 loss to the Heat last night, Kevin Durant brought up Kyrie Irving, who’s out due to New York City’s vaccine mandate/the franchise’s decision.

SNY:

Durant:

I know what you want me to say. Yeah, we do miss Kyrie. We do. He’s a part of our team. But, for the most part, like I said, we’ve been generating great shots. We’ve been getting into the paint. It’s just a matter of us knocking them down. I think it’ll come.

The question wasn’t as leading as Durant suggests. The reporter specifically compared how the Nets are playing this year to how the Nets played last year while battling injuries. Irving missing was a constant.

Durant has been trying to take Irving’s absence in stride. But how could Brooklyn not miss such a talented player? It’s a huge loss.

One that looks even bigger the way other Nets have played.

James Harden has struggled coming off injury and amid the NBA’s new foul rules. Joe Harris hasn’t been his typical scorching self on 3-pointers and is contributing even less than usual in other facets. Blake Griffin looks shaky.

Sample-size caveats are enormous at this point. Durant is right: Brooklyn’s shots will fall more frequently.

But Irving would provide more margin for error. Though the Nets are trying to move past Irving storylines, they’re tough to escape.

Especially when Durant brings them up.