After the Phoenix Suns defeated the Utah Jazz on March 27, head coach Monty Williams was asked by Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic if he thinks superstar small forward Kevin Durant will play on March 29 versus the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Williams said, “We’ll see.”
Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported on March 24 that Durant could play against the Timberwolves. KD injured his left ankle during pregame warmups on March 8. The two-time Finals MVP and one-time regular-season MVP has appeared in three games with the Suns. Durant is averaging 26.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists with Phoenix while shooting an efficient 69.0% from the field, 53.8% from beyond the arc and 88.2% from the free-throw line.
The Suns improved to 40-35 after beating the Jazz. They have won two games in a row.
Kevin Durant Clapped Back at Charles Barkley
Durant issued a strong, 20-word tweet on March 27 firing back at Suns legend and Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, who called Durant “very sensitive” during an interview with CBS.
“He’s very sensitive,” Barkley said about Durant. “Great player. He’s part of that generation who think he can’t be criticized. He’s never looked in the mirror and says, ‘Man, is that a fair criticism?’”
Durant and Barkley aren’t friends. Barkley told Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on “All The Smoke” back in February that Durant has to win a ring without the Golden State Warriors to “get the old heads’ respect.” Durant signed with the Warriors in the summer of 2016 as an unrestricted free agent after Golden State won an NBA record 73 games in 2015-16. The Warriors won back-to-back titles in 2017 and 2018, with Durant winning both Finals MVPs.
“KD is a great, great player. He is a great, great player.” Barkley said about Durant. “He’s sensitive, 100% sensitive. But what I said and I’ll stick by it: KD is a great, great player, but he’s going to have to win a championship without the Warriors to get the old heads’ respect.”
Durant joined the Brooklyn Nets in 2019. He only won one postseason series with the Nets. The Slim Reaper requested a trade from Brooklyn and was dealt to Phoenix in February.
Devin Booker on Kevin Durant: ‘He’s Unstoppable’
Durant and Suns star shooting guard Devin Booker played well together in the three games Durant appeared in before getting hurt. In the three games Durant played with Booker, the former averaged 26.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists, while the latter averaged 36.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 7.7 assists. The Suns beat the Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls and Dallas Mavericks behind Durant and Booker.
“He’s unstoppable,” Booker said about Durant on March 21. “He just understands the game. He’s been doing this his whole entire life at the highest level, and even when you watch him do it, he just seems unfazed and unbothered by any type of situation that he’s thrown in.”
The Suns believe their Big 4 of Durant, Booker, Deandre Ayton and Chris Paul can win it all this season once Durant recovers from his injury and gets back into the rhythm he was in before hurting his ankle, sources told Heavy Sports.