Brooklyn Nets: What’s going on with Kevin Durant?

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 23: Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 23: Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets have been playing some inspired basketball over the last week, relying on their ultra-small lineup and lights out 3-point shooting to run teams out of the gym. They’ve also managed to put together some quality victories without the services of Kevin Durant.

KD, who has missed time this year due to both COVID-19 protocols and load management following his Achilles injury, hasn’t played since Brooklyn’s victory over the Golden State Warriors. Durant is also out for their matchup against Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.

While Nets fans have to be frustrated that Durant isn’t on the court as much as they were hoping, the latest quotes from Steve Nash make it seem like the Nets aren’t overly concerned about Durant. Expect him, Kyrie Irving and James Harden to all be on the floor together soon enough.

Nash claims that Durant will do some strengthening exercises and some light on-court work as he tries to work his way back from his hamstring issue.

Can the Nets survive without Kevin Durant?

Durant has played in just 19 games for the Nets this season, but he has been sensational when on the court. He’s averaging 29 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game, all the while shooting 52% from the floor and 43% from 3-point range.

No team is better equipped to lose a superstar like KD than the Nets, as they also have two of the best scorers in the game on standby in Irving and Harden. Both of them have led wins without Durant in the lineup, including Harden’s virtuoso performance against the Phoenix Suns in which he didn’t have either of them to lean on.

Brooklyn is currently the No. 2 seed in the East, trailing the Philadelphia 76ers. While the temptation to rush Durant back in order to take the top spot away from Philly is enticing, there’s a lot of season left to be played, and the Nets need to make sure that Durant is ready to go when the playoffs come around. Rushing him back in February is foolish.

Brooklyn needs to worry about Durant as they make a push for the postseason, and right now they have enough firepower to cover for him. No. 7 needs to return when he 110% ready to go because risking any further injury would be detrimental.