What a week it’s been for the Brooklyn Nets. They got Kyrie Irving back on Wednesday, for the most part, showing the Pacers and the rest of the league what this team can do on the offensive side of the ball.
On Friday night they won’t have Kyrie in the lineup - they are playing at home, in Brooklyn - but will be taking on the defending champs, the Milwaukee Bucks. Jrue Holiday (COVID protocol) isn’t playing for the Bucks, but that won’t make the task for the Nets any easier.
Still, it’s nice to have a taste of what normalcy could look like. Even for just one night.
WHO: Brooklyn Nets (24-12) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (25-15)
WHEN: 7:30 PM
WHERE: ESPN (national), YES (local), WFAN-FM/AM (radio)
Irving’s return helped provide a jolt and helped show just how dynamic the Nets offense can be when they’re 100 percent. It took him a few minutes to knock off some rust, but he looked his old self and finished with a silky smooth 22 points on 9-17 from the field along with four assists and three steals in 32 minutes. What really stood out was how much faster the Nets looked with him playing. The ball was humming, there weren’t many dead spots (at least after halftime), and gave us an early taste as to what a smallball lineup will look like in the near future (special shout out to DeAndre Bembry for his role as well). Irving helps take an already solid Nets offense and makes them unbeatable. His ability to get downhill and finish over defenders makes He’ll be back in a few days and we’ll see how the coaching staff manages his workload. He clocked in at exactly 31:59 and best guess is that’s where he’ll stay at for the time being.
Opportunity is always knocking, and with Holiday in protocols along with the other guards on the injured list, Langston Galloway will get a big opportunity to make a statement. He was with the Nets for a bit and acquitted himself well. He’ll get more playing time with the Bucks and he hopes to make a good name for himself on the national TV stage.
For more on the Bucks, check out Brew Hoop.