Kyrie Irving’s presence does not guarantee a playoff spot for the Nets

Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving
Photo: beautiful pictures

After months of back and forth, the protests, and completely refused to get vaccinated, Kyrie Irving got her wish and could return as a full-time player in Brooklyn on Sunday. Irving scored just 16 points on his home debut, losing to the Nets 119-110 to the Charlotte Hornets. All that build-up and buzz about Irving being terrorized and how he was able to compete, then he came back and had a below average performance, at least by his standards.

Irving is arguably the missing piece in a long post-season for Brooklyn, but the Nets have other problems than having a key player pokey his way on and off the roster all season long. The Nets had no James Harden left to return to when Irving decided he needed time off for whatever it was on that particular day.

Ben Simmons is yet to play a game for the Nets after trading well over a month ago. He’s been spotted in games, but there’s still no clear indication of when he might make his Nets debut. Simmons is dealing with an obvious back injury, even though he hasn’t signed up for an NBA game since last summer. Nets fans should probably be resigned to the fact that we probably won’t see Simmons in a Nets uniform until next season.

The Nets could really benefit from having Simmons against the Hornets Sunday to help keep LaMelo Ball in check. Ball dropped 33 points in Brooklyn, plus nine assists and seven rebounds. Simmons is one of the best ball-holding defenders in the league and will certainly make things difficult for Ball if he does play. Outside of that one game, the Nets are ranked 22nd in defensive ratings. Simmons, whenever he’s fit, will help improve that rating. The Hornets’ loss is even more profound for the Nets, as these teams will likely go head-to-head in the play-in tournament.

It has really been problem after problem in Brooklyn since Kevin Durant arrived. He missed the first year because of his Achilles injury. Irving missed weeks of last season following the January 6 invasion of Capitol Hill. Brooklyn for Harden, less than a year later then he is throwing in towels on the Nets. This season Kyrie missed half a year because he became the voice of the voiceless. Now Harden is gone, and his replacement has yet to play with Durant and Irving. The Nets is nothing more than a soap opera for two full seasons. Everyone knows KD just wants to hoop. All these extras must have annoyed him.

Worst of all, Durant is the second or third best player in the NBA. As a great weapon as he has been in his career, I don’t know if he can do enough to get through all that happened in Brooklyn. This franchise can’t seem to last more than two months without something dramatic happening to create the titles.

No more excuses for Brooklyn. Kyrie is back full time, so one will go right out the window. It’s going to be an uphill battle regardless of who the Nets face in the first round of post-season, assuming they make it through to the play-ins. If Brooklyn doesn’t make it through to the play-in, it will be a long break for the organization.

Remember, Kyrie once stated they don’t even have a coach in Brooklyn, so it’s time for him to back up all that talk. Okay, it’s time to be a leader when the Nets need it more than ever. I would love to see them succeed. I’m just not sure Irving has what it takes to get them there.

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