In their first road game of 2022, the Brooklyn Nets are set to receive a huge boost. After not taking the court for Brooklyn this year, Kyrie Irving is expected to make his season debut against Indiana on Wednesday night.
Although Irving is going to be a part-time player, his talent will be beneficial to the team during road matchups (except for games played at Madison Square Garden and Chase Center).
Either way, he’s coming back. The Nets already perform better in away games, but now they’ll be able to turn to Irving in those tougher road environments.
Irving hasn’t played in a game since June, but his teammates and head coach Steve Nash said that based on his performance in practice, he’s in good shape considering his situation. Ever since Shams Charania reported that the point guard was in the process of re-joining the team, anticipation has been high.
In light of Irving’s return, here’s how he’ll provide a boost to his squad.
3 ways Kyrie Irving will make the Brooklyn Nets better
3. Veteran leadership
After the Nets were left shorthanded due to the health and safety protocols, the team had to turn to their rookies. Cam Thomas had already proven himself, but Kessler Edwards, Day’Ron Sharpe, and David Duke Jr. all came up big for Brooklyn.
Those four players have already gotten to play alongside Kevin Durant and James Harden in games, but soon enough they’ll also get to share the court with Irving. It’s evident that Sean Marks has an eye for talent, but it’s a huge bonus for the rookies to get to learn from some of the top players in the history of the game.
With the playoffs being four months away, Irving’s expertise will also be instrumental in that environment. He’s played in the postseason five times, and although he isn’t allowed to enter Barclays Center due to his vaccination status, he will get to be another guide for the Nets’ young players on the road and in practice, barring any change.
Not to mention, he knows what it takes to win a championship … in what was one of the greatest postseason runs in NBA history. He also won a title before Kevin Durant did. People forget that.
The 82-game season is a grind, and for a team that’s expected to make a deep playoff run, utilizing Irving’s experience will help Brooklyn’s rookies continue to develop and grow.