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Will Kyrie Irving's return affect the Brooklyn Nets' chemistry?

After a protracted and heavily publicized vaccine standoff, the Nets' star point guard is about to make his return. The question is, however, is that a good thing?

Update:
With Kyrie Irving set to return to the Brooklyn Nets for road games only, the question remains, what will his effect be on the team's chemistry?
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The heavily publicized stand off between the Nets and their point guard has now reached an agreement of sorts, but what has the effect on team chemistry been?

Is Kyrie Irving's return a good thing?

The Brooklyn Nets are set to welcome the return of Kyrie Irving. Of course as result of New York's vaccine mandate, Irving will only be available as a part time player, limited to road games. The question of course continues to be whether or not his inclusion is worth the effect that it may have on the the team's internal psychology. For the moment what can be assumed is that the Nets have gone with a "yes" as the absence of their point guard has been evident.

In total favor of the move, Nets star Kevin Durant was frank. "Have you watched him play?" Speaking after Thursday's 110-102 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers Durant didn't hold back. "He's a master. He can score 60%, 70% of his shots if you don't guard him. He's a high IQ player. It's just a matter of him getting his legs up under him and his wind up under him. And then for us we're going to run plays for him, we'll try to look for him. We play team basketball - but he can adapt and do anything out there so we're not worried about him." Durant also went on to speak specifically about Irving in training. "He looked great," he said. "He looked great. I know he wants to probably play a little bit more before he gets into game situations, but he looked great to me."

What happened with Kyrie Irving?

Having continued to refuse vaccination, Irving has not played a single game for the season so far. It must be said that the Nets took the decision before the season's start, to not allow Irving to participate in team sessions due to New York's aforementioned vaccine mandate. Interestingly, the Nets actually changed their stance recently, allowing Irving to train with his teammates on Wednesday. The decision to do so came on the back of multiple injuries and covid-19 related absences which depleted Brooklyn's roster. That being said its clear to see that the Nets are happy to have Irving back. Guard James Harden was quite clear in his stance and moreover his view of Irving in training after not practicing for some time. "Like Kyrie, Elite," Harden said.

Kyrie Irving's debut and his teammates thoughts

Though it is still unclear as to when exactly Irving will play his first game, the most likely options are either January 5th away to Indiana or January 12th against the Chicago Bulls. Head coach Steve Nash also spoke on the Irving situation on Thursday. Nash actually clarified that where the vaccine was concerned, he had not spoken with Irving about his intentions since the initial preseason conversations. For his part, Nash continues to maintain confidence that Irving's re-inclusion will not destabilize the team's dynamic or continuity, but rather accentuate it.

"I may be a little naive but I think I just keep it really simple," Nash said. "Kyrie plays on the road and we figure out how he rejoins the group, finds his rhythm, and his place in the team and when we come home we're back to normal, the way we've been all year so I'm just trying to keep it really simple. Don't over analyze it or complicate it, try to enjoy it and try to put him in a position to succeed and to enjoy what he's doing and then the positives of having him back can be high and that also can have an effect hopefully on us when he's not in the lineup and guys are not having as much of a burden in every single game."

Are the Nets and Kyrie Irving ready?

Having not seen their teammate for a few months, many of Irving's teammates were quite open about how good it was to have him back with the group and more over out on the court in practice on Wednesday. Indeed, it was "a feel good moment" according to veteran guard Patty Mills. "Same Kyrie," was the conclusion of star James Harden who also added, "Just happy to have him back. We got to get him on the court and get this thing going."

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