76ers vs. Nets: Kyrie Irving Questionable for Monday Afternoon Matchup
Update: The Brooklyn Nets have ruled Kyrie Irving OUT for Monday's matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers with right hamstring tightness.
Can the Philadelphia 76ers continue with the small winning streak they got going? Only time will tell. As we've found out this season, the Sixers aren't exactly the sharpest team when it comes to playing on the road.
At home? The Sixers look like they could be true NBA Finals contenders. When it comes to playing outside of South Philly, though, the team tends to have some real struggles. Before Saturday night's matchup with the New York Knicks, the Sixers were on a six-game losing streak when playing on the road.
Finally, after weeks of taking so many losses in other arenas, the Sixers managed to pull off a tight win at Madison Square Garden on a back to back. Now, the Sixers will wrap up their short tour in New York with a Monday afternoon matchup against the Nets.
The last time the Sixers played in Brooklyn, things did not go their way. As they played without their star center, Joel Embiid, Philly got destroyed in the paint.
They ended up taking a 109-89 loss. Last week, a rematch ensued between the Sixers and the Nets in Philly, and the 76ers got their revenge -- even as Brooklyn had their prized point guard, Kyrie Irving back in the lineup.
Knowing Irving was back, the Sixers had to really focus on him defensively to defend their home court. They managed to keep Irving in check with 14 points, as the veteran struggled from the field, only draining six of his 21 attempted shots.
Considering that Irving was just returning from a significant injury, it was clear he was likely rusty. So the Sixers mostly know it won't be as easy this time around -- especially since the locations change.
However, there's actually a slight chance that the Nets do not give Irving the go to play. As of the Nets' early injury report, Kyrie Irving is currently listed as 'Questionable' as he deals with right hamstring tightness. Since hamstring injuries are tough to predict, his official status will likely depend on how the point guard feels during pregame warmups.
But considering Irving's recent injury history with the Nets this season, they could play it safe and sit him out. That would even the playing field a bit as the Sixers have some injury concerns of their own with Joel Embiid Out, and Al Horford Questionable.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_