Kyrie Irving is back with the Nets, but he won’t be traveling with the team for Monday’s preseason game at Philadelphia, and coach Steve Nash seems resigned to the fact that Irving is going to start missing home games unless he gets vaccinated, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post.
“I think we recognize he’s not playing home games,” Nash said. “We’re going to have to for sure play without him this year; so it just depends on when, where and how much.”
However, Nash also noted that things can change quickly in this unprecedented situation, per Lewis.
“Right now we assume he’s not going to be available for home games,” Nash said. “Anything can change. Who’s to say, the city’s ordinance could change? Anything could change.”
“Right now we’re just trying to remain flexible, open-minded and figure it out as we go, because information is coming in by the half-day here, whether it’s Paul [Millsap’s health and safety protocol] situation, Kyrie’s situation or the laws. We found out Friday he could come in the building, so things are shifting. No one’s been through this before, and we’re just trying to figure it out as we go.”
Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:
- Tyrese Maxey and Shake Milton of the Sixers appear locked in a battle over the starting point-guard spot with Ben Simmons still away from the team, writes Derek Bodner of The Athletic. The players have taken turns starting Philly's first two preseason games vs. the Raptors, with mixed results for both. However, Bodner thinks Maxey has much higher upside and should be given the opportunity to start, given Milton’s physical limitations.
- In the same article, Bodner notes that second-year guard Isaiah Joe has been outstanding thus far in the preseason, and is making a strong case for a spot in the Sixers’ rotation. Joe is averaging 16.5 PPG while shooting 7-12 (.583) from three, and he’s also shown growth as a shot-creator and defender. Coach Doc Rivers has taken notice, per Bodner. “He’s starting to put the ball on the floor. That’s something he couldn’t do (last year),” Rivers said. “He made plays tonight getting into the paint there’s no way he could have done that last year. Good for him because he’s putting all the work in.”
- The Raptors have been impressed with free agent acquisition Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk thus far, writes Doug Smith of the Toronto Star.
- Khem Birch is out of health and safety protocols and could be available for the Raptors tomorrow against Houston, tweets Josh Lewenberg of TSN_Sports.