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Friday, July 19, 2024
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Kyrie’s Big Night Covers Up Nets’ Dicey Playoff Situation

  • Kyrie Irving recorded the most efficient 50-point game in NBA history on Tuesday.
  • He's only eligible to play in five more games as the Nets fight for a playoff berth.
Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports/Design: John Regula

Kyrie Irving’s historic 50-point performance on Tuesday couldn’t have come at a better time for the Nets — but his part-time status still might threaten a playoff berth.

Brooklyn is 2.5 games from falling out of the play-in, and Irving is only eligible to play in five of the remaining 16.

There’s no doubting Irving’s brilliance, but it will count for very little if Brooklyn crashes out of the postseason with the best part-time superstar in NBA history.

  • Irving joined Michael Jordan as the only guards in NBA history to record multiple 50+ point games on 75% shooting (15-of-19, 9 3PT).
  • Irving’s 101.1% true shooting was the most efficient 50-point game in NBA history.
  • By season’s end, he’ll have missed 60 games and lost $18M of his $34M salary for 41 missed home games.
  • The Nets are 27-22 without him this season, in large part because James Harden was still on the team.

Irving is due for a five-year, $235 million extension after playing a maximum of 22 regular-season games. Current NYC COVID-19 vaccination mandates allow him to sit on the team bench but not play at home.

There’s a reason they have the third-best odds (+500*) to win the Finals — Kevin Durant tallied his second-lowest total this season (14 points), and the Nets still put up 132 points.

But with Ben Simmons out indefinitely (back), and sharpshooter Joe Harris out for the season (ankle), Irving needs to be on the floor.

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