Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant returned from tearing his Achilles in the 2019 NBA Finals perhaps a better player than he ever has been. This season at age 33 he is in prime position to win this year’s NBA Most Valuable Player award. It would be the second of his career. The two-time champion is averaging 29.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 5.9 assists. Durant returned from injury better than full-strength. But there was doubt if he would ever return to the version of himself that we have become accustomed to seeing, according to Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James. But LeBron says that there was never a doubt in his mind that KD would eventually return to form.
“There was never any doubt from myself or anybody in this league,” LeBron told reporters per Landon Buford. “I heard there was only like really 1 group of people that had any doubt on him coming back full strength. Not going to name them.”
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Kevin Durant Leaves Game With Knee Injury; MRI Scheduled
Durant has been the most consistently available Nets player all season. While he did miss time for being in the league’s health and safety protocols, Durant has not missed any time due to injury. But that all changed in the first half of the Nets matchup with the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday. Nets reserve Bruce Brown collided into Durant’s knee during the 2nd quarter and the two-time Finals MVP did not return.
Shams Charania of “The Athletic” reports that Durant suffered a left knee sprain on that play.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski says that the Nets star will have an MRI on his knee on Monday.
Steve Nash Sounds off on Nets Difficult Stretch
Since this Nets core was assembled last January, the team has done nothing but overcome adversity. The absence of players is nothing new to them either. The Nets had the most players in health and safety protocols this season (10). And yet despite the turmoil, Brooklyn has risen above it and finds themselves sitting in 3rd place in the Eastern Conference playoff standings. Even though they have been able to overcome, Nets head coach Steve Nash says it has not been easy.
“You know, I don’t know if anyone has had a 6 hours flight between games. I know our guys were tired after yesterday’s overtime game,” Nash said after the Nets’ loss to the Thunder per NetsDaily. ‘So, to get on a 6-hour flight here. It felt evident to me that they didn’t have the pop, the juice to get the stops.”
Nets rookie Day ‘Ron Sharpe agrees that playing so many games over a short period has been an adjustment.
“Play Chicago and get back at five in the morning, got a game today. It’s something I ain’t never done before,” Sharpe said after the Nets back-to-back on Thursday.
“But I told you, man. They tell me I get to play. I could travel all day if I get to play, so it doesn’t matter to me! And if we win games, obviously.”
How serious Durant’s injury is remains to be seen. But if he is going to be out for an extended period, in addition to only having Kyrie available part-time, it would be a huge blow for the Nets.