Kyrie Irving is missing his first game of the season as the Brooklyn Nets prepare to take on the Bulls in Chicago.
According to the NBA’s injury report, Kyrie Irving will miss the Brooklyn Nets‘ game against the Chicago Bulls with a right shoulder impingement. The news was initially reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Nets are underperforming to the tune of a 4-7 record, but Irving isn’t the problem. The superstar point guard is currently averaging 28.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 7.2 assists per game. The problem with the Nets has to do more with the team defense than anything else.
The Saturday matinee will be the fifth and final game of a brutal road trip for Brooklyn. After beating the Portland Trail Blazers—something a lot of teams are doing—the Nets have lost three straight. The Phoenix Suns, Utah Jazz, and Denver Nuggets all rode big second halves to victory.
A win in Chicago would help salvage the road trip for the underwhelming Nets. Losing Irving won’t help Brooklyn’s cause.
The Nets are down two starters—and that’s not including Kevin Durant. Caris LeVert recently underwent surgery to repair ligament damage in his thumb and he’s expected to miss between four and six weeks. Garrett Temple is filling in for the injured LeVert.
Spencer Dinwiddie is expected to start in Irving’s place. The 26-year-old point guard is certainly capable of starting, but losing Irving puts added strain on the Nets’ second unit.
Chicago and Brooklyn will tip-off at 6 p.m. ET on NBA TV.