Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving Says Team Not Ready to Compete With East’s Top Teams After Loss To Philadelphia 76ers
After a 117-106 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, the Brooklyn Nets‘ star point guard Kyrie Irving said that his team has a “glaring” need for more talent on the roster in order to be considered a club that can contend for an NBA championship.
“I mean, it’s transparent. It’s out there. It’s glaring, in terms of the pieces that we need in order to be at that next level,” Irving told media after the defeat, in which he posted 14 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists on 6-21 shooting, to go along with a team-worst -29 plus-minus while he was on the court.
“It’s just something that we signed up for. We knew what we were coming into at the beginning of this season. Guys were going down left and right for us. [Garrett Temple] is out, [DeAndre Jordan] just got hurt tonight, Wilson [Chandler] is just coming back.
“Collectively, I feel like we have great pieces, but it’s pretty glaring we need one more piece or two more pieces that will complement myself, [Kevin Durant], DJ, GT, Spence [Dinwiddie], Caris [LeVert], and we’ll see how that evolves.”
Notably, the Nets superstar failed to mention both Jarrett Allen and Joe Harris as pieces to build around, two productive young players who are consistently in Brooklyn’s starting lineup. Allen has started 36 of a possible 40 games this season, posting strong averages of 11.6 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game, per ESPN. Harris has also enjoyed a strong campaign starting all 40 contests, averaging 14.0 points per game while shooting 41.2% from 3-point land.
On the season, Irving has missed all but 14 of Brooklyn’s games, putting up a stellar stat line of 27.2 points, 6.9 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game while shooting 46.2% from the field, 36.4% from 3, and 91.5% from the free throw line.
Over the summer, the Nets made waves by signing Irving, Durant and Jordan in free agency, though Durant is expected to miss the entire season while rehabbing a torn achilles he suffered in the 2019 NBA Finals while playing for Golden State. The return of Durant next season should give the Nets a a shot at cracking the top tier of teams in the Eastern Conference.
While Irving may think that Brooklyn is in need of a boost in talent, the Nets remain firmly in the playoff hunt, holding onto the East’s 8-seed with a record of 18-22. It will be interesting to monitor the situation going forward, as Irving may grow increasingly unhappy if the Nets continue to struggle.