The Nets had two members of their Big Three on the court for Friday’s 119-115 preseason win over the Milwaukee Bucks at Barclays Center, but it was the absence of the third member that was a key talking point afterwards.
Kevin Durant scored 18 points and James Harden went for eight points and four assists in their preseason debuts, but Kyrie Irving missed his first home game due to his vaccination status given New York City’s mandate.
Before the game, though, New York City officials decided that Irving will now be able to practice at the Nets facility, which has been determined as a “private office” rather than a public venue.
Durant was asked afterwards about what the plan is for Irving now that he can practice with the team.
“That’s always tough when guys are in and out of the lineup, especially a starter like Kyrie. I don’t know exactly what the plan is going forward right now,” Durant said. “I’m sure they’re still making decisions. That’s a better question for Steve (Nash), Sean (Marks), and Kyrie, and they’ll fill me in when they make a decision. I’m going to keep playing and keep focusing on what we’re focusing on in the locker room and once that gets figured out, we move forward.
“At least he can practice, but we want him here for the whole thing. We want him here for games, home games, practices, away games, shootarounds, all of it. So, hopefully we figure this thing out.”
Meanwhile, Harden was asked if the team’s chemistry would take a hit without Irving being able to suit up for home games unless he is vaccinated.
“Not really,” Harden answered when asked if he was worried about establishing continuity early on. “I think [being] thrown into the fire last year, we did a pretty good job figuring out on the fly, so this year we pretty much know our roles and what we’re doing on both ends of the ball. Being there obviously makes it easier, but for the most part we know what we’re supposed to be doing once he joins the team.”
The Nets continue their preseason on the road in Philadelphia on Monday before a final exhibition game at home against Minnesota next Thursday.
Source: Yahoo Sports