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Kyrie Irving available to play Thursday vs. Lakers [UPDATE]

Nets PG was held out Tuesday due to a sore back. Kevin Durant will remain sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets passes the ball against the Golden State Warriors during the fist half of an NBA basketball game at Chase Center on February 13, 2021 in San Francisco, California. Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

UPDATE: Feb. 18, 4:12 p.m. — Irving will be available to play in Thursday’s game vs. the Lakers. He had missed the Nets last game against the Suns due to back soreness. Durant will remain out for the Nets. This isn’t surprising news. Brooklyn announced Irving was probable on Wednesday, so it was kind of baked into the lines for tonight.

The Lakers are favored by 2.5 points. The Nets have won four straight and are playing well, even without Durant. LeBron James and the Lakers are a different animal. LA’s defense could cause issues for both Irving and James Harden. If that’s the case, it’s hard to see the Nets pulling off another shocker on the West Coast.

We could see some people late to the Irving news move the lines a bit. The over/under has dropped from 234.5 to 230 over the course of the day. Maybe that number trickles back up. Chances are it stays the same until later on. We could get some late news from the Lakers side.

UPDATE: Feb. 17 5:49 p.m. — Irving is being listed as probable to play in Thursday’s game vs. the Los Angeles Lakers. Durant will remain sidelined due to a hamstring injury. The Nets are coming off a comeback win over the Suns on Tuesday night with just Harden as the only Big 3 member playing. Irving will likely return against LeBron James and Co. for a Brooklyn squad that is trending in the right direction. The Nets took over second place in the East and have won four straight.

Brooklyn Nets PG Kyrie Irving has been ruled out for Tuesday’s game vs. the Phoenix Suns due to back tightness. The Nets are coming off a big win over the Sacramento Kings on Monday night and are on the second of a road back-to-back, which could be why Irving is sitting. The Nets will also be without All-Star Kevin Durant, who has been sidelined due to a hamstring injury. James Harden appears to be the lone Big 3 player left standing agains the Suns.

With Irving sidelined, the Nets are going to be very thin in the roster. We should see Bruce Brown starting in the backcourt with Harden again. Jeff Green has been starting for Durant, which has left the Nets with a thin rotation. That leaves either DeAndre Jordan or another guard to start for Irving. The Nets could go with Harden, Brown, Joe Harris, Green and Jordan, which is a more traditional look. It would make sense going up against a center like Deandre Ayton.

Harden will be a top tournament and cash-game play given he’s going to be the focus of the offense again. We could see a vintage Harden game like when he was in Houston — a massive triple-double type of performance. Pretty much all the role players around him will have some type of value. Brown ($4,600) and Jordan ($4,500) could end up being cheap starters. Landry Shamet ($3,400) and Tyler Johnson ($3,200) are dirt cheap values you can play in tournaments.

If you’re able to, jump on the Suns spread at -5.5. The Nets could be more competitive than we think, but the Suns have been one of the hottest teams in the NBA. Phoenix is also at home and Brooklyn is on the second night of a road B2B. I jumped on Suns -5.5 and was able to pick up a Harden prop at O44.5 Pts + Rebs + Asts at -110. The lines for that game are now down on DraftKings Sportsbook. If you were quick enough, good on you because there’s a ton of value in those lines.

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