Since the Houston Rockets traded James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets on Jan. 14, there hasn’t been a more hyped game on the NBA schedule than the Nets’ matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, and rightfully so.
Kyrie Irving, James Harden and Kevin Durant are far-and-away the most talented trio on the league, and their talent alone has catapulted them into the title conversation. Meanwhile, the Lakers have looked like a team that’s determined to defend their title this season and, on paper, they have more talent around LeBron James and Anthony Davis than they did last season. The hype for the game was real.
Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until at least the second half of the season to see these two games head-to-head at full strength because both Anthony Davis and Kevin Durant have been ruled out for Thursday’s game. Davis will be sidelined with Achilles tendinosis and a calf strain while Durant will be out with a hamstring injury.
Kevin Durant is listed as out against the Lakers on Thursday.— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) February 17, 2021
Does that mean there won’t still be hype around the game? Of course not! A game between James and Irving is marquee-worthy even in a down season for both of them. Add Harden to the mix, and you’ve got a must-watch game. However, until both of these teams are healthy, any game between them will feel incomplete.
Here’s to hoping that injury sliders are turned off in the second half of the season.
The Lakers and Nets will tip off at 7 p.m. PT. The game will be broadcast on TNT.
Notes and Updates
- In addition to Anthony Davis, the Lakers will also be without Kostas Antetokounmpo, who is still suffering from right knee patellar tendinitis. Jared Dudley is no longer listed on the injury report.
- LeBron James (left ankle sprain) is probable, as is Kyrie Irving (back).