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NBA Live Thread: Brooklyn Nets at Indiana Pacers, 7:30 PM EST

NBA: Indiana Pacers at New York Knicks Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

So much for a ho-hum, mid-season game against the Pacers. Kyrie Irving will make his season debut for the Nets on Wednesday night in Indiana.

You know the story by now, no need for me to get into it - but, yes, Irving is “allowed” to play during road games, per New York City’s COVID mandates he is not allowed to play, as of yet, at Barclays Center.

There, I said it, done.

As for the game itself, the Nets are currently sitting on a 3-game losing streak and have slipped into second place in the East, two games behind the Bulls.

The Pacers, meanwhile, are on a 5-game losing streak and trending downward toward the bottom of the Eastern Conference. However, they hold a soft spot in Nets fans hears. Why? Caris LeVert, that’s why.

Unfortunately, LeVert will miss this game as he joins a long, long list of Pacers guards who are currently in COVID protocols.

Caris Levert, Malcolm Brogdon, Goga Bitadze, Isaiah Jackson, Chris Duarte, Jeremy Lamb and Kelan Martin are in COVID protocols.

Ouch.

WHO: Brooklyn Nets (23-12) at Indiana Pacers (14-24)

WHEN: 7:30 PM EST

WHERE: YES (tv), WFAN-FM/AM (radio)

Game Preview.

Player to watch: Kyrie Irving

When we last saw Kyrie Irving in an NBA game, it ended in disaster as an ankle injury took him out of the Bucks playoff series where the Nets ultimately fell short. Since then, he’s recovered from that injury, but has yet to suit up since he’s not vaccinated and not eligible to play in Brooklyn. It’s a long ass story and one that we’ll continue to discuss as COVD runs wild and this season progresses. He ought to be vaccinated and not just for basketball x NYC mandate purposes, but that’s a conversation for another time. The players are happy to have him back, the fans most definitely feel the same way, and as far as viewership goes, he’s one of the most spellbinding players we’ve ever seen so he’ll definitely increase the fun factor. And he’s coming back to a team that needs a jolt of energy ahead of

With Irving back, he ought to slide into the two guard spot immediately. He gives the Nets another ace shot creator and someone who can heat up at a moment’s notice. He’ll lessen the workloads for Harden and Durant while giving them an A++ scorer to help space things out more. The Nets get another elite ballhandler that can attack downhill and generate clean looks every time he passes half court.

For more on the Pacers, check out Indy Cornrows.