Are Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving Playing Tonight? Brooklyn Nets vs Denver Nuggets: Injury Update, Lineup and Game Predictions

Published 01/12/2021, 1:30 PM EST
LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 18: Kyrie Irving, Russell Westbrook, and Kevin Durant warm up at the 67th NBA All-Star Game: Team LeBron Vs. Team Stephen at Staples Center on February 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)


The Denver Nuggets and Brooklyn Nets are entering this matchup after very different previous outings. While the Nuggets have won two consecutive games prior to this, the Nets have actually lost two straight ones. Most would expect it to be the other way around, but we know better than to underestimate the comeback team of last year.

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In fact, the Nuggets were the Western Conference finalists last year after overcoming two 3-1 deficits, and the Nets were without two of their superstars and struggled to go deep in the playoffs. So which team is likely to come out of this as a winner?

Brooklyn Nets injury updates and lineup prediction

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The Nets are feeling the absence of Kyrie Irving, who has not played the last three games because of personal reasons. In fact, even Kevin Durant was out till their matchup with Oklahoma City Thunder due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Despite KD adding 36 points to the scoreboard, the Nets could not overpower OKC and even lost against the Memphis Grizzlies, who were without their star player, Ja Morant.

With Spencer Dinwiddie, Nicolas Claxton, and Tyler Johnson also out and no sign of Irving’s return, the onus falls on Durant to lead the team. His individual performance will determine their fate against the Denver Nuggets.

Jan 10, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) dunks the ball during the second half against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

With that, the predicted lineup would be Jeff Green, Jarrett Allen, Kevin Durant, Caris LeVert, and Joe Harris.

Denver Nuggets injury updates and lineup prediction

After a rough start to their season, the Denver Nuggets have shown some signs of revival. They won 115-103 against the Philadelphia 76ers, who are at the top in the East and also beat the New York Knicks with a score of 114-89.

This will be their chance to go for a winning streak. Their key players are Nikola Jokic, who is averaging triple-doubles till now, and then Jamal Murray, who is also averaging 19.7 points.

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Dec 28, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) dribbles past Houston Rockets forward Christian Wood (35) in the first quarter at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Unfortunately, another player who has been a good third-scoring option, Michael Porter Jr. is the only one listed out for this matchup. This means this game could actually go neck to neck.

With that, the predicted lineup would be Gary Harris, Will Barton, Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic, and Paul Millsap.

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Game prediction

The Nets can be considered a one-man army at this point. Therefore, there is not a chance Durant alone can withstand the wrath of Murray and Jokic. Expect this to be a blowout win for Denver.

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Yashima Bhatia

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Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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