The Brooklyn Nets have had something of a resurgence in the last week and a half. After All-Star guard Kyrie Irving went down with a shoulder injury, the Nets have been on a roll. Bench player extraordinaire Spencer Dinwiddie moved into the starting line-up and has balled out in Kyrie’s absence.
Irving has missed the last six games with the Nets going 5-1 in that time. When Kyrie went down, the Nets were ninth in the Eastern Conference with a record of 4-7. Since his absence, the Nets are seventh in the East with a 9-8 record.
The Nets had four crucial games already at this stage in the season against the Charlotte Hornets, Sacramento Kings, New York Knicks and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Nets had a 4-0 record against those teams.
Spencer Dinwiddie since his move into the starting line-up is averaging 25 points per game and 6.2 assists.
The Nets faced the New York Knicks on Sunday and defeated them in a close encounter 103-101. Dinwiddie had a 30-point game and Joe Harris had the play of the game in the last seconds of the game. With just seconds left on the clock and the Nets up by two, Harris inbounded the ball off the back of Wayne Ellington to run out the clock.
In the following game against the Cavs, Dinwiddie shot a midrange game-winner to take the Nets’ winning streak to four.
While this is great for the Knicks, it doesn’t help the narrative going around Kyrie Irving and his reported attitude and leadership issues. At this point in his career, Kyrie needs to share the ball and maybe we’ll see that with Kevin Durant next year but he’s doing it now with the Knicks.
The Brooklyn Nets Odds as the Kryie-Less Nets Travel to Boston
Kyrie is averaging 22.9 field goal attempts, second only to James Harden in the entire NBA. The Nets aren’t the Houston Rockets, they don’t give the ball to one guy 39% of the time, yet Kyrie is playing that way and when you look at the record with him on the court, it certainly isn’t going well.
Dinwiddie is averaging 17.7 field goals attempts per game when starting, 5.2 attempts less than Kyrie and it’s worked out for the Nets who are on their best run of the season.
Whenever Kyrie returns from his shoulder injury, it’ll be interesting to see whether the Nets winning streak continues or ends with Kyrie’s dominance of the basketball.
The Nets next play Kyrie’s former team and the number three seed in the East, the Boston Celtics. They play a back to back with Boston without Kyrie and will still be an interesting matchup.
The Celtics are favorites in Thursday’s game with odds to win the game at +320, according to sportsbooks. The Nets despite their recent form are rightfully underdogs with odds to win the game at +250.
Whether Kyrie will be at the Boston Garden on the bench with his team is a question to be asked, as Celtic legend Paul Pierce said that Kyrie will be given one of the biggest boos in Celtics history and will Kyrie be the team guy and spur his team on?