Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant making strides in their returns

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

The Nets held practice on Thursday and received some uplifting news regarding their two star offseason acquisitions. Kyrie Irving’s return seems imminent.

The Brooklyn Nets held practice Thursday afternoon and received some outstanding news regarding Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. The two star-level talents were featured practicing on the court for the first time in what feels like an eternity.

Kevin Durant—who was already ruled out for the entire 2019-2020 campaign—returned to the court and performed some individual on-court workout and is progressing ‘fantastically’, according to head coach Kenny Atkinson.

Meanwhile, Kyrie Irving, a six time All-Star, returned to contact practices with no limitations and got his return date bumped up to possibly next week after missing two months of basketball. Irving suffered a right shoulder injury that’s had him sidelined since Nov. 14.

His return for next week could not have come at a better time, as the Nets have lost seven in a row and eight of their last nine games; falling to the eighth seed with a 16-20 record.

After signing his lucrative four-year, $142 million contract, Irving has been marred with injuries and lingering issues throughout this season. Before the injury Irving averaged 28.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 7.2 assists in 11 games. His play has been heavily missed as the Nets magical run has stalled out with teams around the league exploiting their lack of a star threat on the court.

Won’t it be nice to see this again?

Spencer Dinwiddie and company have done a relatively decent job sustaining their position in the Eastern Conference without Irving. However, their success this season is predicated on their newly-acquired All-Star point guard.

If all goes well, looking at the schedule, Irving could potentially make his return on MLK day against the Philadelphia 76ers, or a showdown against former teammate LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday.

On the other hand, KD is making convincing strides in his rehab from an Achilles injury suffered in the NBA Finals a season ago. His return this year was already decided beforehand, but it’s still nice to see our beloved superstar return to the court and gear up for the 2020-2021 season.