Will Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant Play Tonight? Brooklyn Nets vs New York Knicks: Injury News, Lineup, and Prediction

Published 01/13/2021, 12:30 PM EST
Dec 25, 2020; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Brooklyn Nets small forward Kevin Durant (7) shoots a three point jump shot against Boston Celtics center Tristan Thompson (13) defending during the third quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports


The Brooklyn Nets take on the New York Knicks in the first edition of the battle for New York. For the Nets, they’ve had an underwhelming start to the season. The Nets were expected to be championship favorites this season, but haven’t done enough to warrant that reputation. The Nets currently sit with a 6-6 record so far, winning only half of their games.

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But the Knicks have been a surprise package so far this season. No one expected them to get many wins, but they have shocked many teams in the NBA. With new coach Tom Thibodeau at the helm, the Knicks have looked a different team. Julius Randle is playing at an All-Star level, as the Knicks have a 5-6 record in the NBA so far.

Here’s what you can expect when the Nets take on the Knicks.

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Brooklyn Nets – Team News

Jan 12, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets power forward Kevin Durant (7) dunks against Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) during the first quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets will be without Kyrie Irving, as he continues his absence from the team for personal reasons. Other than him, the Nets will still be without Spencer Dinwiddie and Nicolas Claxton, as they sustained major injuries. The Nets will still have Kevin Durant, who made his return to the team after fulfilling COVID-19 protocols last week.

With Caris LeVert playing the best basketball of his life, the Nets should have a good chance in the game.

Predicted Lineup: Caris LeVert, Joe Harris, Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, Jarrett Allen

New York Knicks – Team News

Jan 10, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Dennis Smith Jr. #4 of the New York Knicks walks off the court after the loss to the Denver Nuggets at Madison Square Garden on January 10, 2021 in New York City. Mandatory Credit: Elsa/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks are relatively unscathed with regards to injuries. They will be without guard Alec Burks, and Reggie Bullock is listed as questionable for the team. Rookie Obi Toppin is still out with a calf injury. Taj Gibson could make his Knicks debut against the Brooklyn Nets. Julius Randle, RJ Barrett, and Mitchell Robinson are all fit to play.

Predicted Lineup: Austin Rivers, RJ Barrett, Elfrid Payton, Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson

Brooklyn Nets vs New York Knicks – Prediction

Jan 1, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets center DeAndre Jordan (6) blocks a shot by Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young (11) during the first quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets have a lot more quality than the New York Knicks. However, the Knicks have proven to be a disciplined defensive unit under Tom Thibodeau. Kevin Durant proved he can still cause problems on the offensive end, putting up 34 points and 13 assists against the Denver Nuggets. But will Tib’s defensive tactics be enough to stop KD?

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Probably not.

Prediction: The Nets defeat the Knicks in a tight game, thanks to Kevin Durant doing work on the offense.

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Will the Knicks be able to upset the Nets? The claim to be New York’s team hangs in the balance, and both teams will be hoping to make their case for the same.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1313 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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