Nets Coach Jacque Vaughn Breaks Silence on Kevin Durant’s Return Date

Kevin Durant of the Nets

Getty Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets.

The two-week mark since Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant was diagnosed with a sprained right MCL arrived January 23 with no update on Durant’s recovery. It had been announced on January 9 that Durant’s injury would be re-evaluated in two weeks. Now, head coach Jacque Vaughn seems as eager as anyone to learn about Durant’s progress toward returning to the court.

“Yeah, I really kind of said, in two weeks, let me know something,” Vaughn told reporters after the Nets’ 120-116 road win over the Golden State Warriors on January 23. “So besides that, haven’t asked for an update, and I’m looking forward to the two-week update.”

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Nic Claxton Sounds Off on Historic Performance

Nets starting center Nicolas Claxton continues to turn heads with his play this season. In  the January 23 game against the Warriors, Claxton had perhaps his most impressive game of the season, notching a 24-point, 15-rebound performance, both career highs. It is a performance on par with Claxton’s breakout season. He is averaging career highs in nearly every statistical category, including a league-leading 2.7 blocks per game and 73.3% shooting from the field.

Claxton also made history against the Warriors, setting the franchise record for consecutive games (12) with at least three blocks with 12 straight. The record was previously set twice by Shawn Bradley in 1996, per The New York Post. After the win, Claxton discussed his feat.

“Yeah, I knew I was close, and I knew I didn’t have any blocks in the first half, so I knew I needed to come out and get a few. That’s big-time. Beating that record is big-time,” Claxton said.

“I feel like the sky’s the limit. I’m just playing free. It’s a lot more opportunity out there for myself and my teammates are finding me and I’m staying aggressive with the minutes I’m being given and I’m just having fun and just playing. I’m having a lot of fun and definitely feel like the sky’s the limit.”

Kyrie Irving Puts the NBA on Notice

Four of the Nets’ five starters scored in double figures during their win over the Warriors. But no one came up bigger than Kyrie Irving, who dropped 38 points, including five 3-pointers. After struggling from the field in four straight losses without Durant in the lineup, Irving has come up big for the Nets in back-to-back wins, averaging 43 points per game. Irving put the league on notice about what to expect from him and the Nets for the rest of the season after the win.

“I told you guys that I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to be the first option or the second option or the main one. This is just a message for everybody at home: first option, the second option, third option, they don’t f****** matter to me. It doesn’t matter who has the ball in their hands as long as they’re being aggressive, and it’s the best shot for our team,” Irving said.

“The objective of this team sport is to win basketball games, not identify one person to carry everybody every single night. Some nights it’s gonna occur like that or seems like that. For me, it’s the team attitude, team atmosphere and living the results with us playing together and collectively.”