Brooklyn Nets: Making an All-NBA case for D’Angelo Russell

Brooklyn Nets D'Angelo Russell (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets D'Angelo Russell (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Brooklyn Nets
Brooklyn Nets D’Angelo Russell Kyrie Irving (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

D’Angelo Russell vs. Kyrie Irving

This is the one that might prevent D’Angelo Russell from becoming the first member of the Brooklyn Nets to earn All-NBA honors.

It’s not that Kyrie Irving hasn’t had a spectacular season — he certainly has — but it hasn’t been as good as was expected and the team has responded to being anointed the preseason favorites in the Eastern Conference by going 44-31 and struggling to get homecourt advantage … for the first round.

But the stat that might be the most damaging to Irving’s All-NBA candidacy is how the Celtics have played with and without him this season.

In the 13 games Irving has missed this season, the Celtics are 11-2 — including a win over Russell and the Nets. In 62 games with Irving this season, Boston is 33-29.

That doesn’t exactly scream value.

Brooklyn is 38-36 when Russell plays and got blown out the one time he didn’t, just for clarity.

Irving does have significant statistical advantages in terms of per-game numbers, but those gaps close when comparing per-36 minutes — Russell moves ahead in assists, most significantly, at 8.3 to 7.7 for Kyrie.

Here are the numbers:

Per Game Table
Kyrie Irving 62 33.1 .490 6.4 .398 .558 3.6 .867 5.1 7.1 1.5 23.8
D’Angelo Russell 74 30.3 .433 7.8 .362 .509 2.5 .781 3.7 7.0 1.2 20.9

Provided by View Original Table
Generated 3/27/2019.

Advanced Table
Player G MP PER TS% 3PAr FTr AST% USG%
Kyrie Irving 62 2052 24.7 .592 .346 .197 35.7 29.5
D’Angelo Russell 74 2241 19.3 .530 .418 .136 41.3 31.7

Provided by View Original Table
Generated 3/27/2019.

Still, Irving has a reputation with the voters and has been named to an All-NBA team in the past, earning a spot in 2014-15 while with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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If Russell doesn’t make the All-NBA cut in 2018-19, it will be likely be Irving that is selected ahead of him.