EThe trio formed by Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving is on its way to being the least used ‘Big Three’ in history. ‘La Barba’ was the last to arrive at the Nets. It will be a year since that operation that in mid-February last year threatened to blow up the NBA. But once again it is being shown that the accumulation of stars does not guarantee success.
In that time, the trident has barely been able to coincide on the track. The injuries of some and the non-vaccinations of another have meant that, of the 119 possible matches, the three have only coincided in 16, 13.4% of the total. The balance in those games is 13 wins and three losses, but the lack of continuity has prevented the NBA from feeling threatened by the three Nets talents.
During the visit to the Warriors, Durant was still sidelined with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee. He was joined by Harden, with a strain on his right hand. So Irving was left alone, who was able to play as the game was outside of Brooklyn, where he is prohibited from accessing the pavilion because he was not vaccinated. He had 32 points, his highest since the Nets agreed to have him part-time. They were not enough.
Results of the day
- Pelicans 97-107 Celtics
- Mavericks 132-105 Pacers
- Sixers 103-101 Kings
- Heat 120-124 Raptors
- Grizzlies 115-95 Wizards
- Warriors 110-106 Nets
And maybe the trio will end up breaking up now that the first anniversary of their union is approaching. Rumors around Harden continue to grow as the NBA market closes. The shooting guard, who averages 23.0 points, 10.1 assists and 8.1 rebounds, seems upset with coach Steve Nash’s decision-making, due to the fact that the Nets accepted that Irving would play only the away games and because he doesn’t feel comfortable in the city. The option that he ends up in the Sixers, together with Daryl Morey, his general manager in the Rockets, sounds like 23.0 points, 10.1 assists and 8.1 rebounds
The Heat and the Raptors played a game that had the appearance of a marathon. The Canadians took him (120-124) after having to play three extensions. It was 63 minutes of play that ended with several records and the players busted. The entire quintet of the visiting team reached 50 minutes on the court, which is a historical record since the possession clock was established in the 1954-55 season.
Pascal Siakam’s 57 minutes and Scottie Barnes, OG Anunoby and Gary Trent Jr.’s 56 are the most on-court presence by a player in the last five years. Fred VanVleet, who scored two decisive triples in the third overtime, stayed at 54. They all achieved it at the same time and as part of the same team, the Raptors, who only played with eight and whose starters scored 115 of the 124 total points.
For the Heat, the best was Jimmy Butler, who had 37 points, 14 rebounds, 10 assists, three recoveries and two blocks. He got the first triple-double with more than 35 points in the history of the Miami franchise. He played 52 minutes, the most on his team, which despite the defeat continues to lead the Eastern Conference with a balance of 32-18.
Jayson Tatum led the Celtics to victory in New Orleans (97-107) scoring 38 points, in addition to adding eight rebounds and seven assists. This is how he extended his great moment of play, because in the last four games he has averages of 36.3+7.0+6.0 and this with more than five triples per game and with outstanding shooting percentages.
Once again he had the help of Jaylen Brown, who scored 31 points. It’s the fourth time this season that both Celtics stars have passed 30 in the same game. They equaled the four times they achieved it in their first four campaigns together. No pair of teammates have done it this course more than two, being DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine, in the Bulls, their closest pursuers.
Joel Embiid kept MVP mode active in the Sixers’ comeback over the Kings. The pvot had 36 points, 12 rebounds and six assists, finishing another day with more scores than minutes on the court (35). Those from Sacramento managed to win by 17 (35-52), but a great second half from the locals gave them their fourteenth win in the last 17 games. Tyrese Haliburton had 38 points for the Kings. It is the highest score of his career, but it was of no use to his team, in a free fall after six straight losses.