Brooklyn Nets already enter the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference with 10 games left to play for the regular season.
They achieved this spot with lots of ups and downs as they played with top players always missing the game one day or the other due to injuries.
The Brooklyn Nets played without Kevin Durant at the start of the season, and Kyrie Irving occasional missing games.
When Durant made a return, James Harden missed games due to a hamstring injury and still sidelined with the injury.
Even after returning Durant is still missing games from time to time due to injury management.
He again misses tonight’s game against Portland Trail Blazers to take a rest and is already ruled out with injury management reason.
Kyrie Irving has experienced periodic groin issues and missing occasionally even after Kevin’s return.
He missed the latest Thursday night’s game against the Indiana Pacers due to soreness.
In the game against the Indiana Pacers, Kevin Durant dropped his season-high 42 points in 36 minutes.
Subsequently, giving the Nets’ win in the absence of Irving.
And now the Nets faces Portland Trail Blazers without Kevin DURANt.
“Tomorrow will be a different challenge,” Nash said after Thursday’s victory, Brooklyn’s fourth in a row.
“We will see who is available and how it all looks and we’ll play a really good Portland team and try to have a good performance.”
“What can I say? I have the luxury of coaching Kevin Durant,” Nash said. “You stick him in the line-up and good things happen.”
Durant recorded 10 assists, made 16-of-24 field-goal attempts, and hit all eight free throws in a strong all-around effort against Indiana
The Nets ruled out Kevin Durant
Durant said he will follow the coaching staff for the Thursday Match.
“I’m gonna take direction from the coaching staff,” Durant said of playing Friday. “My teammates understand what the situation is, so I’ve just got to be ready for any situation, I feel like.
And when I’m out there playing, I like to take it one possession at a time and see what happens.”
“I had to come back in the fourth, and maybe I could have negotiated it a little bit better if I didn’t have to come back the fourth for the next game.
But it is what it is. I tried to take it a possession at a time and just trust in what the coaching staff and training staff want me to do.”
Kyrie available against the Trail Blazers
The Nets sidelined Kyrie against Thursday’s match against the Pacers when the Nets won over the Pacers.
“Kyrie we will have to assess as well … but my thinking on that is hopefully Ky feels much better [Friday] and can play,” Nash said. “I’d say my vote would be likely that Kevin does not play the second of a back-to-back.”
However, for tonight’s game against the TrailBlazer, the Nets are not sidelining Kyrie Irving.
Brooklyn coach Steve Nash preferred seeing Irving on the floor versus Portland and Kevin Durant seated on the bench.
Nash also added he would rather have Blake Griffin play for the second straight night than Durant, who recently returned from a thigh injury and missed 23 games with a hamstring injury earlier in the season.
42 points | 10 assists
📼 KD HIGHLIGHTS 📼 pic.twitter.com/XVbv9q2pVL
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) April 30, 2021
According to the list of players ruled out for the game against the Blazers, Kyrie will receive help from Blake Griffin as he is not ruled out.
Kyrie will also have Alize Johnson who had the best night on Thursday after giving a stellar performance, scoring 20 points and a career-high 21 rebounds.
“The energy was there from the moment I walked into the building,” Johnson said. “I was ready to go out there and prove that I belong.”
Even though the Nets already reached the playoffs but this doesn’t mean that they will have an easy time beating other teams.
Now the Nets officially reported Kevin Durant sidelined for the match.
The Nets face the Blazers.
Portland Trail Blazers are one of such teams that are not easy to beat.
They are also having great performance with back-to-back 21-point road wins over the Pacers and Memphis Grizzles.
“We were definitely ready to play,” veteran forward Carmelo Anthony said after Wednesday’s 130-109 win in Memphis.”
“You could sense it. You could feel it that we were locked in, and we knew how important this game was for us.”
— TV5 (@TV5manila) April 30, 2021
Portland (34-28) trails the Dallas Mavericks by one game in the battle for the No 6 seed in the Western Conference. As the top six teams avoid the play-in round.
The Blazers are also teams that are filled with great scorers.
Most recently as well the Trail Blazers had three 20-point scorers against Memphis; CJ McCollum had 26 points and six assists.
While Norman Powell tallied 24 and Damian Lillard added 23.
As Portland led by as many as 33 in the first half before rolling to the blowout victory.
“To me, it’s a five-man defense so everybody has to do their jobs,” Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts said.
“For me, the first half was about team defense and that includes transition defense.
The Blazers are looking for payback to the Nets.
As the Nets defeated host Portland 116-112 on March 23 without Durant and Irving, James Harden leading the way by scoring 25 points and matching with his career-best of 17 assists.
But unfortunately, Harden will miss his 13th straight game on Friday with a hamstring injury.
The Net’s injury update
Besides James and Durant, Bruce Brown al
so ruled out due to right knee soreness, Nic Claxton out to follow health and safety protocols.
Chris Chiozza out with a fracture in the right hand meanwhile Spencer Dinwiddie out with a partially torn ACL.
With so many players out, everything will now be in the hand of Kyrie. But this not the first time Kyrie left alone with the responsibility.
In fact, he has led the Nets to win games in the absence of both James and Kevin. Tonight’s game will also be to see the same Kyrie back and Kevin to rest.