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Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant expected to return Wednesday vs. Hawks [UPDATE]

The Nets were without the two superstars for Monday’s loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in overtime.

Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets runs the court during the fourth quarter of their game against the Charlotte Hornets at Spectrum Center on December 27, 2020 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

UPDATE: Dec. 29, 4:51 p.m. — Both Kyrie and KD are off the injury report and are expected to play in Wednesday’s game vs. the Atlanta Hawks. The two superstars sat out of Monday’s loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. The Nets put up a fight without their two best players. With both back, we should expect Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Caris LeVert to head back to the bench. Taurean Prince should stick in the starting lineup at SF/PF.

UPDATE: Final MEM 116, BKN 111 — The Nets didn’t have KD, Kyrie or Dinwiddie on Monday night but almost pulled off the win in NBA bubble fashion. They were able to force OT but fell to the Grizzlies, who got their first win of the season.

LeVert had 28 points, 11 assists and 5 steals while Luwawu-Cabarrot started and added 21 points. The Nets oddly used a very tight rotation despite being down three starters. The team went cold shooting the ball late in the fourth quarter and overtime and it eventually cost them. If you got the Grizzlies before the lineup news, you were covering this pretty easily. If you got the Grizz after the news, they still managed to backdoor cover at -3.5.

UPDATE: Caris LeVert, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Taurean Prince will start in place of Durant, Irving and Dinwiddie for Monday’s game vs. the Grizzlies. So Shamet will come off the bench and likely be in the 6th Man role that LeVert was in. We could see a tight rotation from the Nets if this game is competitive. If the Grizzlies get up, expect the Nets to dip into the bench with guys like Tyler Johnson, Rodion Kurucs and maybe even Bruce Brown.

The Brooklyn Nets announced that not only will Kevin Durant sit on Monday vs. the Memphis Grizzlies, but Kyrie Irving will also join him on the sideline. Irving and Durant will rest with the Nets on the second night of a back-to-back. The Nets will also be without G Spencer Dinwiddie, who has a partially torn ACL. So that makes three starters down for Brooklyn, which has started the season 2-1. This opens up a ton of value on the Nets.

So no Durant, Irving and Dinwiddie, how do we proceed. So before the Irving news, I projected that Landry Shamet ($3,500), Taurean Prince ($3,100) or Caris LeVert ($6,600) could end up starting. With Irving and Durant both out, we should see the Nets look very similar to last season’s lineup. LeVert almost has to start now and be the go-to scorer. He normally thrives in this role. Prince was a mainstay in the lineup last season.

We should see Joe Harris move to SG or stick at SF with Shamet at SG. With no Irving or Dinwiddie, the Nets don’t really have a primary ballhandler. This could mean Tyler Johnson ($3,100) ends up starting. Johnson played well off the bench in the NBA bubble during the restart. Even Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot ($3,100) should see playing time off the bench. He can fill it up and would be an OK tournament play. Hell, we even need to consider Bruce Brown ($3,100) at close to min-price on DraftKings.

If you can get in on the Grizzlies spread before the number shifts too much in their favor, definitely do it. Memphis needs a win at 0-2 on the season and the line moved 3.0 points when the Durant news came out. Irving should have a similar impact, which could make the game almost a pick ‘em. I view that as still favorable to the Grizzlies. Right now, the line is down on DKSB, but we’ll see what the new number looks like.

Update: The Grizzlies-Nets new line after the Irving news is Memphis -1.5. This still feels pretty favorable. It’s essentially last season’s bubble Nets team. Whenever we get props up, anything surrounding Joe Harris, Caris LeVert and some of the reserve players will be intriguing. Someone like Jarrett Allen could get more run in the main rotation with so many bodies out. Hopefully, you jumped on some of the Grizz numbers after the KD news.

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