Will James Harden and Kyrie Irving Play Tonight? Brooklyn Nets vs Cleveland Cavaliers: Injury News, Lineup, and Prediction

Published 01/20/2021, 12:30 PM EST
Jan 16, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) high fives forward Kevin Durant (7) during a time out in the second quarter against the Orlando Magic at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports


The Brooklyn Nets face off against the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight. For the Nets, they have been re-energized after James Harden joined the team. He and Kevin Durant have been playing at an extremely high level, with both scoring 30+ points in their first two games together. The duo looks excellent, but now they could be joined by Kyrie Irving to form one of the best trios in NBA history.

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The Cavaliers, on the other hand, have had a mixed start to the NBA season. They currently have a 6-7 record in the NBA and are looking to improve on their record. Collin Sexton has been a surprise package for the Cavs and has broken records last matched by LeBron James in a Cavs jersey. They could also have a new player and former Nets star Jarrett Allen make his debut tonight.

With that in mind, take a look at the matchup between the Cavs and Nets.

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Brooklyn Nets – Team News

Jan 18, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets shooting guard James Harden (13) and power forward Kevin Durant (7) high five during the fourth quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at Barclays Center. The Nets defeated the Bucks 125-123. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets will have Kyrie Irving available for the game. After completing his quarantine in accordance with the NBA protocol, Irving will be back in contention to play. He could combine with James Harden and Kevin Durant for the first time, as he takes on his former team. Spencer Dinwiddie is still out of the season after suffering a major injury.

Predicted Lineup: Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Joe Harris, DeAndre Jordan

Cleveland Cavaliers – Team News

Jan 4, 2021; Orlando, Florida, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton (2) passes at the last second from pressure under Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic (9) and guard Dwayne Bacon (8) and guard Michael Carter-Williams (7) as Cavaliers center Andre Drummond (3) looks on during the second half at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Cavaliers have some roster concerns right now. Kevin Porter Jr. will not be playing as the team looks to resolve his future. Matthew Dellavedova is unavailable for the game, whereas Darius Garland and Collin Sexton have been listed as questionable going into the game. Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince could get their first minutes in a Cavs jersey tomorrow night.

Predicted Lineup: Isaac Okoro, Damyean Dotson, Cedi Osman, Larry Nance Jr., Andre Drummond

Brooklyn Nets vs Cleveland Cavaliers – Prediction

Jan 3, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal (3) loses the ball as he is fouled by Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the second quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets have looked absolutely fantastic since the arrival of James Harden. Kevin Durant looks like his old self after almost two years out with an injury. And the return of Kyrie Irving will only improve their team’s offensive output. But the defensive potential is a concern for the Nets.

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If all three players can put their best foot forward on defense, the Nets are championship contenders.

Prediction: The Nets defeat the Cavs thanks to the new big three of Kyrie, KD, and Harden

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Who will win between the Nets and the Cavs? With the offensive juggernaut of the new Nets trio, it is hard to bet against them. But the Cavs have shown this season that they can defeat teams that are better than them on paper.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1204 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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