We’ve witnessed a handful of preseason games to get our NBA fandom going again, and now we’re off to Day 3, where we will finally see the Kevin Durant-Kyrie Irving duo in action.
It should be exciting to see how much they’ll showcase. The debut of rookie head coach Steve Nash is pretty intriguing as well.
The Washington Wizards will have their hands full, especially since Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook are not likely to play.
Catch this game on December 14, at 7:00 AM, Manila time.
HOME TEAM: Brooklyn Nets
Reports are saying that the Nets will kick the game off with Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Spencer Dinwiddie, Joe Harris, and DeAndre Jordan as starters, with official starting big Man Jarrett Allen coming off the bench. The key absence there is swingman Caris LeVert, who’s currently nursing a bruised knee.
As the usual case in a preseason setting, the big names are only expected to play limited minutes, particularly Durant in this case. The coaching staff are still easing him in into action given that he’s on the heels of an 18-month lay-off. Irving could be in the same boat too. He hasn’t played since having shoulder injury last March.
With that, the key contributors for tomorrow are most likely Dinwiddie and Harris. The two will be once again tasked to provide playmaking and shooting, which they’ve widely shown since being with the Nets. Dinwiddie averaged 20.6 PPG last season, while Harris has two-straight seasons with 170-plus three-pointers.
Other rotation guys like Taurean Prince, Rodions Kurucs, and Landry Shamet should also provide some damage.
ROAD TEAM: Washington Wizards
Unlike the Nets, the Wizards will not be showcasing their own new duo: Bradley Beal and new Wizard, Russell Westbrook. No injuries have been reported and both we’re seen looking loose in practice via the team’s social media posts.
Davis Bertans, who emerged as a prolific stretch four for the Wizards, won’t be suiting up as well. He’s also healthy and was only late to camp, so his case may only be due to proper conditioning.
The absence of the three will mean more opportunities for the young guys. Rui Hachimura is leading the bunch as he is the most proven among the team’s up-and-comers. The second-year forward averaged 13.5 points and 6.1 rebounds last season and was the team’s number one option during their depleted stint in the NBA bubble.
Behind Hachimura are the likes of Troy Brown, Isaac Bonga, Jerome Robinson, 2020 9th overall pick, Deni Avdija, official starting center Tomas Bryant, although he’s listed as probable (hip). Brown joined Hachimura in leading the Wizards’ attack while in the bubble, averaging 15.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game.
I expect the Nets to come out with a lot of energy, as led by an eager Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, so they should be able to establish the pace early. With or without heavy minutes from the two, though, Brooklyn appears to have more concrete NBA experience than the Wizards’ lineup for tomorrow.
Nets win, 115-106.
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