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Kyrie Irving out as Nets come home to face the Wizards

Orlando Magic v Washington Wizards Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Blowouts are fun, depending on what side you're on. If you're up by a bunch, you can kick back, relax, hear off topic jokes from the commentary team, and have a stress free night of sports entertainment. If you're the team getting its butts kicked, the day feels unbelievably, impossibly long and you're wondering why you even decided to watch in the first place. For the Brooklyn Nets, they were on the receiving end of a 43 point smackdown thanks to the Boston Celtics. Amazingly, that wasn’t the worst thing to happen to the Nets this week. More on that soon.

So, what do we do with the Washington Wizards. They're in the play in range, but have heated up in recent weeks. They had their game against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night postponed due to travel safety x weather concerns. That give them a few extra days off before their game against the Portland Trailblazers in DC last night. They jumped out to a 20 point lead in the first half, but let go of the rope and lost by eight. The L snapped their season high six game winning streak.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV. WFAN on radio. Tip after 6 PM.


No Kevin Durant. Ben Simmons and TJ Warren are both questionable. Kyrie Irving was ruled out with a calf issue just before 2:00 p.m.

Anthony Gill is in health and safety protocols. This is night two of a back-to-back, and Bradley Beal is a late scratch.

The game

Brooklyn won the first game in early November, second in late November, and third in mid December. This is the season finale between the two teams.

With the Wizards trading Rui Hachimura to the Los Angeles Lakers, it looks like the team is set on keeping Kyle Kuzma when he enters free agency this summer. Kuzma does a lot of things well on the court and his size on the frontcourt makes him a super valuable player. He’s taken on more offensive responsibility this year, and he’s paid it off to the tune of a career high 21.6 points per game on .456/.332/.713 shooting splits.

The Nets got overwhelmed by the Celtics from three point range on Wednesday night. Luckily for them, the Wizards aren’t as proficient from downtown as the C’s are. With this geing the second leg of a b2b, the Nets should look to push the tempo early and get the Wiz down early.

In the WNBA, we’re all hype as hell about the big moves the New York Liberty have made this week. The Washington Mystics may not be as star laden as NY, but they’ve been busy as they signed Brittney Sykes from the LA Sparks, re-signed Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and reunited with 2019 champion, Kristi Toliver. All eyes will be on NY and Las Vegas when the W tips off this spring, but the other teams are up for the challenge.

Assuming Ben Simmons is back, the Nets are going to need a lot more from him. My main man Matt Brooks took a look at what his season has been so far, and the team will need him to get back on the good foot in a hurry. Aside from finding his place in the offense, they need him to bring the physicality and play with purpose.

The battle in the frontcourt promises to be incredibly fun. Kristaps Porzingis has been excellent and has grown into a force on offense. KP is a difficult matchup, and the Nets will turn to Nic Claxton to slow him down. Clax missed out on the All Star Game, but it doesn’t take away from what’s been a sensational season for the big guy. He’s been a wonderful rim protector, and the Wizards are the most efficient team inside the restricted area (72 percent). Brooklyn will need to stay in front of the Wiz and force them into contested jumpers. It’ll help on the boards and take some pressure off of Claxton’s shoulders.

Player to watch: Bradley Beal

It doesn’t really feel like it, but Beal’s been around for 11 seasons. He has, and Beal is still playing well. Hamstring injuries have thrown a wrench into his plays, but he’s still managed to shoot a career best 51.5 percent from the field when he’s out there. Last night, he dropped 34 points on .560/.400/1.000 splits in 32 minutes. He said he tweaked one of his feet last night, but said he’s good. There’s a good chance he sits with him being a few weeks back from the hamstring injury. It would be a shame since the Wizards have propelled themselves back in to the play-in race. Every game matters and

75 days. Kyrie Irving returned to the team after his suspension for sharing an antisemitic video and his conduct afterwards. Since his return, he played at a star level and was key to the Nets’ turnaround. Even with KD out, it looked like things were going as well as could be expe... (Jazz music stops ... replaced by dirge)

Yup, back to the chaos, y’all! Irving has reportedly asked out and now we wait to see what in the world happens next. It’s hard to transition from “star player wants out, again” to the game, but that’s something Irving and the Nets will have to figure out. Good luck to em.

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