The Brooklyn Nets are back in action on Wednesday as they travel to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Nets have looked very good since acquiring James Harden and will feature the NBA's most dangerous trio upon Kyrie Irving's return. Meanwhile, the Cavaliers have run into some struggles after their stellar start, carrying a 6-7 overall record into this Eastern Conference matchup.
The Nets are expecting Kyrie Irving to return to the court against the Cavaliers on Wednesday. Irving has missed eight games thus far, but claims he is "happy to be back" after he stepped away from the team on January 6th, 2021.
In his seven games this season, Kyrie Irving has averaged 27.1 points and 6.1 assists per game and will provide a key piece to the Nets' offense moving forward.
Brooklyn Nets vs Cleveland Cavaliers Injury Updates
With Kyrie Irving removed from the Brooklyn Nets' injury list, the team will only be without two players for Wednesday's matchup.
Spencer Dinwiddie is likely out for the remainder of the season with a partially torn ACL in his right knee. He played only three games before his injury but will unfortunately be on the road to recovery for next season.
The only other player on the Nets' injury list is 21-year-old Nicholas Claxton, who is sidelined for a minimum of four more weeks with a knee injury.
With a relatively clean injury sheet, the Brooklyn Nets will be one of the most feared teams in basketball.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have struggled with injuries thus far but can expect the return of their young stars, Collin Sexton and Darius Garland, soon. Both players were listed as "out" in the Cavalier's most recent update but returned to practice on Monday.
Collin Sexton was sidelined due to left ankle soreness, but MRIs revealed negative tests. Garland was diagnosed with a right shoulder sprain on January 6th but is nearing the end of his recovery.
Kevin Porter Jr. is also listed as "out" but was not injured. A developing story surrounding a locker room incident between Porter Jr. and a team official has emerged, and the Cavaliers are reportedly expected to trade or release the player in the near future.
Unfortunately, the Cavaliers' injury list continues with Dylan Windler. Windler was sidelined in the Cavs' season opener with a wrist injury and is yet to be cleared for return by the medical staff. Kevin Love suffered a right calf strain on December 29th, 2020, and is expected to return in 10-14 days.
The final player on the Cleveland Cavaliers' injury list is Matthew Dellavedova, who is yet to return from concussion protocol. Dellavedova suffered a brutal fall during an NBA preseason game and is still recovering from the concussion that ensued.
Brooklyn Nets vs Cleveland Cavaliers Predicted Lineups
The Brooklyn Nets will finally feature their big three on Wednesday night. With Kyrie Irving mixing into the backcourt, the Nets will give NBA fans a glimpse at their star-studded lineup.
Kyrie Irving will run the point guard position, with James Harden taking over at the two and moving Joe Harris to small forward. Kevin Durant will look to continue his dominance at the power forward position, shooting an incredible 54% from the field this season.
DeAndre Jordan has stepped into the starting role at center nicely since the departure of Jared Allen and should continue to see extended minutes.
The Cleveland Cavaliers will likely still be without their star backcourt of Sexton and Garland and will rely heavily on their bench players.
Damyean Dotson has held down the point guard position in Sexton's absence, while Issac Okoro fills in at the two. Cedi Osman will hope to keep his shooting sharp at small forward, with Larry Nance Jr. staying at power forward.
The Cavaliers starting five will be rounded up by Andre Drummond, the current league-leader in rebounding, at center.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Predicted Starting 5
PG Kyrie Irving, SG James Harden, SF Joe Harris, PF Kevin Durant, C DeAndre Jordan
PG Damyean Dotson, SG Issac Okoro, SF Cedi Osman, PF Larry Nance Jr., C Andre Drummond