Duke basketball superstar cedes power to fellow teammate before victory

Duke basketball star Kyrie Irving (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Duke basketball star Kyrie Irving (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

A Duke basketball superstar has ceded power to his teammate. 

The biggest story in the NBA this season has been the Brooklyn Nets (16-12), and former Duke basketball standout Kyrie Irving has been at the focal point of the chatter around the franchise.

Prior to his unexplained absence shortly after the start of the season, a healthy Irving finally was paired with a healthy Kevin Durant, and the Nets looked unstoppable.

Then, Brooklyn opted to trade much of its young core for Houston Rockets disgruntled All-Pro James Harden, forming the best trio in the league.

Offense was never an issue with the Nets since the trade. The team’s defense was the glaring hole it needed to fix.

Slowly but surely there have been defensive improvements with Brooklyn, but the team is making a change on the offensive side of the ball.

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Irving told reporters after the team’s 134-117 victory over the Golden State Warriors (14-13) on Saturday night that he talked with Harden, and the two decided that James Harden would become the team’s point guard with Kyrie Irving moving to shooting guard.

The change appeared to work against Golden State as Irving posted 23 points, five rebounds, four assists, and one steal on 10-of-17 shooting from the field and 2-of-5 from three-point range.

Harden picked up a double-double, posting 19 points and 16 assists in the victory. Saturday night marked his most assists since joining the Nets, but he is averaging 11.3 assists per game in that span.

Duke basketball star must shoulder more of the load going forward

In the midst of their West Coast trip, Kyrie Irving and James Harden will have to look to carry more of the scoring load as Kevin Durant has been ruled out for at least two games with a mild left hamstring strain, according to the team.

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Brooklyn has four games left on its road trip, including matchups against the Los Angeles Lakers (21-7), who will be without Anthony Davis, and the Los Angles Clippers (20-8), who fell to Brooklyn on February 2.

The Nets will return to the court on Monday in Sacramento against the Kings (12-14) at 10:00pm EST.

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