Will Kevin Durant Play Tonight? Brooklyn Nets vs Miami Heat: Injury Updates, Expected Lineups, and Game Prediction

Published 01/25/2021, 7:30 AM EST
Jan 23, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) shoots the ball against Miami Heat forward Andre Iguodala (28) during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports


The Brooklyn Nets host the Miami Heat once again tonight, after beating them two days ago. They face off at the Barclays Center at 7:30 pm EST in a battle of the Eastern Conference giants.

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The Nets somehow managed to beat the Heat in their last game after being embarrassed by the Cavs twice in a row. It was a close game, despite the Heat missing a lot of their important players. While the Nets had their full-strength team, the Heat were scraping by with three starters out and a few important squad players. They still put up a good fight, but in the end, they just fell short.

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Brooklyn Nets: expected lineup

Since the James Harden trade, the Nets are short on big men. So Nicolas Claxton staying out with a knee injury hurts them. But the rest of the team is fit to play.

Jan 23, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) dribbles against Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic (left) during the first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

So their lineup will continue to have Kyrie Irving and James Harden as their guards, Joe Harris and Kevin Durant as their forwards, and DeAndre Jordan as their center.

Miami Heat: expected lineup

The Heat don’t have any good news yet regarding their player shortage crisis. Jimmy Butler, Avery Bradley (COVID-19 protocol), and Tyler Herro (neck) are still out. Other rotational players like Meyers Leonard, Mo Harkless, and Chris Silva are ruled out as well.

Jan 23, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic (7) dribbles the ball as center Bam Adebayo (13) runs a pick against Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (middle) during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

So their lineup will feature Goran Dragic and Gabe Vincent as their guards, Duncan Robinson and Kelly Olynyk as their forwards, and Bam Adebayo as their center.

Predictions

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The lack of big men has proved costly for the Nets so far. The Cavs beat them with their strong big man rotation, while Adebayo dropped his career-high in the last game. But since the Heat are still weak with multiple injuries, the Nets will once again be favorites.

The trio of Durant, Harden, and Irving is slowly building chemistry and once they do, it will become dangerous for the rest of the league. But it can only be effective if they have a good rotation, because it is a league of big men, and they will fall behind if they don’t cope up.

So the Nets will be expected to win once again tonight. It will be a big boost for them as they begin their three road trip, which starts at Atlanta.

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Aaron Mathew

1664 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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