Atlantic Notes: Durant, Irving, Sixers, VanVleet

The Nets would be a much different team if Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving both return when the season resumes, and Greg Logan of Newsday looks at how having them on the court would affect the rest of the lineup. Durant will have had more than 13 months to recover from a torn Achilles tendon if games start again on July 31, while Irving will be nearly five months removed from shoulder surgery.

Logan believes Durant would take Taurean Prince‘s role in the starting lineup, while Irving would push Spencer Dinwiddie to the bench. That would give Brooklyn a stronger second team, along with Jarrett Allen, Wilson Chandler and probably Garrett Temple. If Durant and Irving don’t return, Logan notes, the Nets will have to rely on playoff minutes from Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Chris Chiozza.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The return to action will give interim coach Jacque Vaughn a chance to prove himself under fire, Logan adds in the same story. Vaughn has coached just two games since taking over for Kenny Atkinson, but he already made a significant move, replacing Allen in the starting lineup with DeAndre Jordan. The Nets are rumored to have interest in some high-profile coaches, but Vaughn will get to show what he can do in a high-pressure atmosphere.
  • If Ben Simmons is fully recovered from a back injury, the Sixers could return with a starting lineup that has never played together, writes Derek Bodner of The Athletic. Shortly after Simmons got hurt in late February, coach Brett Brown decided to replace Al Horford as a starter and eventually settled on Shake Milton. Simmons, Milton, Josh Richardson, Tobias Harris and Joel Embiid haven’t taken the court together at all this season.
  • Fred VanVleet believes the Raptors are in good position to defend their NBA title, relays Scott Rafferty of VanVleet discussed Toronto’s chances during an appearance this week on ESPN’s “The Jump.” “I think that’s part of the reason that everyone wants to get back, at least from our camp,” he said. “We knew we had a good chance, as good a chance as anybody from obviously what we did last year and then to come back after losing Kawhi (Leonard) and Danny (Green) to have the team that we had this year.”
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13 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Durant, Irving, Sixers, VanVleet

  1. cant_teach_speed

    But Durant said he wasn’t going to play if the season resumes and Kyrie is the ultimate crybaby Robin who doesn’t want to take the court until he can have KD to emotionally support him, so….

  2. Sillivan

    If Durant and Irving are 80%, they are better than
    Raptors and Celtics?
    76ers have talented starters
    Bench guy Mike Scott, Burke and Robinson can shoo
    Guys would return to Warriors offseason

    • Iasounis

      Even with KD and Irving, the Nets aren’t better than the Raptors. They may lack a Kawhii like star name, but they’re the better TEAM.

      • Luckylefty2

        Chill lol. Playoffs are a different animal. The Raptors dont have anybody on their roster to takeover down the stretch in a crucial playoff game. The nets have 2.

        • dynasty in boston

          The Nets have NOBODY dude. Kaylee isn’t a leader and Durant is as good as retired.

          • El Don

            But both are still better than anyone BOS has had in the last decade! How sad is that for the “mighty Celtics”!!!

            • dynasty in boston

              You’re joking. Tatum and Brown are better. The Celts will be lifting yet another banner while you’re pathetic franchise prays to find an identity. The good news for you? You’re slightly better than Philadelphia. But not by much

              • El Don

                Boy how wrong you are! Then again you always are! I am anything but a BRK fan, but man if you thin JT or JB will ever, & I repeat ever, be better than KD, just please stop watching hoops, it isn’t for you my friend!

  3. Simmons>Russ

    Nets next season might implode with Kyrie and KD leading the team.
    Spencer Dinwiddie was a all star contender and was leading them to the playoffs by himself. The coach he’s had there since he was signed in Kenny Atkinson got fired for basically no reason other than Kyrie didn’t like him.

    I think Spencer gets fed up with Kyrie and causes something either forcing himself out or just a big distraction during the season.
    Jarrett Allen is in a similar position too with Kyrie and KD making Sean Marks sign DeAndre Jordan which takes away from Allen. He’s now needing a contract extension and isn’t sure if he’s a starter on the team he was helping led for the past 2/3 seasons. I bet he’s also feeling abit let down with the stars coming in and taking over, making the decisions without even playing really.

    This team went from Dinwiddie LeVert Prince Allen and Kenny Atkinson being a solid under dog playoff team, to being Kyrie and KDs team without a coach with some soon to be unhappy players and yet both players have only played 30 games between them…

    I hope Dinwiddie and Allen leave together and find themselves in a better situation where they get more respect. I’d love for them to be with Donovan Mitchell and helping lead the Jazz in the playoffs.
    Or some how both players going to the Mavs and teaming with Doncic and Porzingis to form a huge team in Dallas.

    • El Don

      They were solid but mediocre, like it or not you need stars to win, hence TOR is winning in RS but they are a pointless team coming the playoff, BRK with last years team probably would never win a playoff series… now with Irving & KD, depending how they are they surely contending in the East.
      I do like a lot Allen, but Dimwiddie is just an average player at best, good riddance!

      • x%sure

        Irving was 8-12 in two stints yet the Nets are playoff-bound. The facts do not support the idea of Dinwiddie as anything but a winner and innovator, undeterred by oppossing forces, going back to ColoradoBoulder.

      • Simmons>Russ

        Dinwiddie was a borderline all star last season and was the main reason the Nets would’ve made the playoffs this season. KD obviously didn’t play, Irving played 30 games as LeVert only played 39 games.
        I understand that yes they would never be a great team without stars and wouldn’t ever win titles but at what cost do you get the stars. If Dinwiddie leaves cause of Kyrie and Allen leaves cause of Jordan then you basically have a completely new team to what you had 2 years ago. Sean Marks as GM is doing a great job turning this team from the worst team in the league to decent, to competitive, to a playoff team to a title contender but I’m unsure they ever get there.
        The culture he is kinda building their is unloyal, trading out Russell, cutting Atkinson and potentially trading was Dinwiddie and Allen. It’s also abit of a diva, soft culture. KD with his burner accounts, Kyrie running the team getting Atkinson sacked yet only played 30 games. KD Kyrie ad LeVert all being injured for large amounts of time.

  4. KnickerbockerAl

    Wow 13 months is long time. Still I agree playoffs is a different animal. Can’t see why Nets would take a chance now. Best to wait and be full strength. New coach and team set next yr. Kyrie and KD have been crying for another star. I think they move Allen, Dinwiddie, probably pick too. Not sure who will be available.
    Raptors don’t have enough to get to Finals. Next yr have a few FA. So they have decisions to make. The East is not a weak L anymore. Bucks probably have best odds to win it all. Next yr East will be at least six deep with top teams. Not going to be easy for anyone. Bucks, Celtics, Nets, Sixers, Heat, Raptors all are legit. Pacers are coming. And Wizards will be better with Wall. One of Young teams will move up to. Magic or Hawks. I hope Knicks.

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