The Brooklyn Nets say Kevin Durant will miss time with a left hamstring strain according to ESPN’s Malika Andrews. On the season the 2014 Most Valuable Player is averaging 29.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game.
Kevin Durant will miss at least the next two games with a left hamstring strain, the Nets say.
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) February 15, 2021
Durant Could Return for Lakers Game Thursday
The four-time scoring champion will miss the team’s next two games. Monday night against the Sacramento Kings and Tuesday Night against Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns.
There is still a chance that Durant could return for Thursday’s potential NBA Finals matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers, but it is not likely that the Nets will rush back Durant from any type of injury. Especially because he is still trying to get back to 100% after tearing his Achilles in the 2019 NBA Finals.
This has been the story of the Brooklyn Nets all season. As soon as the Nets trifecta of superstars get in a rhythm and string together some wins, something gets in the way of them furthering that momentum. Fortunately for the Nets, this is one of the luxuries of having three franchise players on your squad. If one of your stars goes down, you have two others that are equally capable of carrying the load.
Kyrie and Harden Will Have To Step Up
According to Kyrie Irving, he and his teammate James Harden had a conversation discussing their roles in Brooklyn’s offense. Kyrie painted a crystal-clear picture for Harden, he wants “The Beard” to be the Nets’ point guard.
“I said, ‘you’re the point guard, and I’m gonna play shooting guard.’ And that was that.” Irving told reporters after Saturday’s blowout win again the Warriors via SNY.
Kyrie Irving says he and James Harden have figured out how to play together:
"I said, 'you're the point guard, and I'm gonna play shooting guard.' And that was that." pic.twitter.com/j6brnpAIJZ
— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) February 14, 2021
This won’t be Kyrie’s first time playing off the ball. During his time in Cleveland, LeBron James was pretty much Cleveland’s point guard. Irving does have the ability to play off-ball even though he does not do it often because he is such a good ball-handler. But there is a distinct difference between being a ball-handler and being a playmaker. “The Beard” is a playmaker. Harden leads the NBA in assists with 11.2 per game.
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It was less than 24 hours ago that Durant was talking to the media about how he talks to his former Warrior teammate Klay Thompson about how to deal with the anxiety that you are faced with to come back from an injury. Thompson who tore his ACL in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals is currently sidelined for his second straight season after tearing his Achilles in a scrimmage over the summer.
“It’s good to see him starting to walk,” Durant told reporters on Saturday via SNY. “Obviously, I know what that process is like, so I know he’s chomping at the bit to get out on the court and start shooting.”
Kevin Durant says he and Klay Thompson have talked since Klay's most recent injury:
"It's good to see him starting to walk… obviously, I know what that process is like, so I know he's chomping at the bit to get out on the court and start shooting" pic.twitter.com/AQjvNL7bzy
— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) February 14, 2021
While seeing Durant play basketball at a high-level again has been a treat for hoops fans around the world, any fan of KD should not want to see him back on the court until he is 100% again. After working tirelessly for 18 months to get back on the court it would be silly to rush back just to play in a meaningless regular-season game, albeit against LeBron James and the Lakers.
As for the Nets, there should be no rush to bring Durant back on their end either. You are in third place in the east and have two other all-stars on your roster who are more than capable of winning games. Besides, you have to think about playing the long game. Not only are you trying to compete for a championship this year but several years into the future. Rushing Durant back three-months into the season is not worth risking all of that.