Injuries have ruined the Nets chance at a step in the right direction.
Injuries are a part of any sport, but some teams just have really bad luck sometimes. This season, it’s the Brooklyn Nets.
Everyone and their mother expected prized free-agent signee, Kevin Durant, to sit out the 2019-20 season due to an Achilles injury he suffered in the NBA Finals last year. The Slim Reaper came to Brooklyn with guard Kyrie Irving and pal, Deandre Jordan, in an attempt at the next “Big Three”.
So far, that hasn’t gone according to plan. Irving appeared in only 20 of a possible 64 games due to various injuries. He eventually underwent arthroscopic surgery to relieve a right shoulder impingement.
When Irving was on the court his averages per game were 27.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 6.4 assists, and 1.4 steals. Each one represented either his highest per season or in the top two.
Deandre Jordan played through injuries and still managed to appear in 56 games. Jordan started six contests for Brooklyn scoring a measly 8.3 points per game, more than two points below his average from last season. DJ hasn’t had a season points per game (PPG) average lower than double digits since his 8.8 PPG in 2012-13.
Coming into the season, the Nets supporting cast were expected to take a major leap forward and help lead the team to a top-four spot in the conference, but that didn’t happen. Latvian forward Rodions Kurucs, who averaged 8.5 PPG in 63 appearances during the 18-19 season, dropped a meager 4.2 PPG in 39 appearances this season.
Kurucs’ big sophomore season was stunted not even by injury, but a flat-out lack of usage by Nets coaches Kenny Atkinson and then Jacque Vaughn after Atkinson and the team mutually parted ways.
Atkinson’s split from the team came on March 7, less than a week before the NBA halted its season due to Covid-19.
With DJ underperforming, the team relied on third-year center Jarrett Allen and rookie center Nicolas Claxton. Before this season, Allen missed a combined 12 games in his first two years in the league. Allen provides the team with an almost double-double performance every night thanks to 10.6 PPG and 9.5 RPG.
Irving and KD will not be with the team in Orlando when the season restarts. Neither will DJ are he announced on twitter yesterday that he had contracted the Novel Coronavirus. That came only three days after Claxton tweeted the season-ending shoulder surgery he underwent, was successful.
As if things could not get any worse, NBA Insider, Shams Charania tweeted Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie had also contracted the Novel Coronavirus. Dinwiddie’s status for the restart is unknown.
The cherry on top came when forward Wilson Chandler announced he would be sitting out the restart due to personal reasons.
Brooklyn managed to sign forward Justin Anderson to replace Chandler. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the team is expected to sign at least one more player to replace Jordan.
A promising season turned to almost nothing. When the team gets to Orlando they will be without Irving, KD, Jordan, Claxton, Chandler, and possibly Dinwiddie.
While Disney is known for its magic, the Nets will need a miracle to succeed in the season restart.