Kevin Durant Fighting Through Shoulder Injury as Nets Prep for Warriors

Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets

Getty Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets

Heading into a monster NBA showdown with his old team, the Warriors, on Tuesday night, Nets star Kevin Durant raised some concerns about whether he is 100% healthy following the Brooklyn Nets’ road win over Oklahoma City this weekend.

Durant originally injured the shoulder when the Nets were in Chicago on November 8, the only loss the team suffered on its now-complete six-game road trip, and he has played four games since. When the Nets played the Magic in Orlando on November 10, Durant spent much of the fourth quarter in a blowout win on the bench with his shoulder heavily wrapped.

“It’s solid. A little sore here and there, but it hasn’t been getting in the way too much,” Durant said in his postgame media conference Sunday. “Just keep getting treatment and take it a day at a time.”

Coach Steve Nash acknowledged the shoulder could be an issue—but that it hasn’t been so far.

“Little tweak but uh,” Nash said before looking at the stat sheet and smiling, “the ball still goes in the hole so, he’s hanging in there. But I don’t think it is the type of thing that we expect to get worse, so he’s kind of playing through it but it’s not terrible.”

Durant Won Player of the Week With Shoulder Injury

Indeed, the ball has been going through the hole. In fact, even with the shoulder problem, Durant managed to win the Eastern Conference Player of the Week award for last week.

Including the Chicago game in which the shoulder was originally injured, Durant has averaged 32.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists, and while those numbers are impressive, it is his efficiency that Nash—the ball goes in the hole—was referring to.

Durant is shooting an incredible 62.9% from the field in that span, and 52.6% from the 3-point line. He is getting to the free-throw line 8.5 times per game and making 91.2% of his free throws.

Nets Will Be Missing Joe Harris vs. Warriors

The Nets certainly will need Durant as they face the Warriors, who are 11-2 to start the season and possess the best record in the NBA. Golden State is coming off a loss to Charlotte on Sunday to kick off a four-game road trip through the Eastern Conference.

Brooklyn will be without sharpshooter Joe Harris on Tuesday, because of an ankle injury he suffered when he came down awkwardly after grabbing a rebound against Oklahoma City on Sunday.

The Nets could be in tough shape if Harris is out for a while, because the team’s improved offensive output coincided with him breaking his early season slump. In his last eight games, Harris was shooting 59.5% from the 3-point line, after starting at 34.8% (a slump by his standards) in the Nets’ first six games.

It’s possible that the absence of Harris could force Nash to put point guard Patty Mills into the starting five. As it stands, the severity of the Harris injury remains unknown.

“No update,” Nash said. “Ankle sprain, and we’ll have to assess it when we get home.”


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