After sitting out the Nets’ previous game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant are off of the injury report for the Nets’ matchup against the Atlanta Hawks. Neither Kyrie nor KD was actually injured but sat out for rest. This was the first load management test for Nets Head Coach Steve Nash. Both of his stars are coming off of major offseason surgeries. Kyrie an injured right shoulder and KD a torn Achilles, an injury that took him more than a year to come back from. Will load management be a recurring theme for Brooklyn’s stars this season? That’s something that remains to be seen, but Head Coach Steve Nash is taking the process one game at a time.
Nash, Nets Being Very Cautious With Durant’s Minutes
“I think last night, Durant played a lot of minutes,” Steve Nash told reporters on Monday via a Zoom call “We were playing from behind. He had a pretty heavy load and demand, metrics, so we just wanted to be careful.” Durant played 36 minutes in Sunday Night’s 104-106 loss to the Charlotte Hornets where he missed a last-second jumper that would have tied the game. “That’s the biggest output he’s had in 18 months or more. So, we just want to be careful and protect him and protect us from any negative consequences of him playing too much out of the gates.”
KD Has Learned How To Be Patient
Durant knows the consequences of rushing return from injury all too well. What started as just a mild calf strain ended up being a torn Achilles when KD returned to the Finals prematurely. Durant has taken the 2019 Finals as a learning experience. Now in a new Setting, he has put his complete trust in Brooklyn’s medical staff to execute a successful rehab process. “Obviously, I want to play as much as I can,” Durant told reporters on a recent Zoom call. “but I definitely want to trust in the training staff and the organization and do what’s best and consult with them on it as well.”
Nash and KD Are Taking Everything One Game At A Time
“Everything is to be determined,” Nash said to The New York Post. So far neither KD nor Kyrie have been on a minutes restriction, logging at least 25 minutes in each of Brooklyn’s first three games. “We still know that we want to protect our players, but at the same time, we’re not always going to have the opportunity to do that. Sometimes you have to take slight risks to try to give your team the best chance, and if the risk feels too much, then we’ll pull back. And some of those things, you can’t decide until right before the game.
KD has been itching to get back on the court for the last 18 months so being patient about his minutes will surely be an uphill battle. As anxious as Durant is, he understands that his recovery is indeed a process that should be taken one day at a time. “I’ve always been comfortable with a basketball in my hand,” Durant told reporters. “But, physically, not being able to run up and down a court, it’s going to take me more than two or three games to feel like, ‘Yeah, I’m in the swing of things, feel like I’m in midseason form physically.’