Latest Kevin Durant news proves Nets didn’t want him playing in All-Star Game

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 13: Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 13: Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets are, as expected, challenging for the top spot in the Eastern Conference, and their three-headed monster of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden has helped them become the league’s best offensive team.

While the Nets are white-hot at the moment, they have been winning without Durant, who has played in just 19 games this season due to COVID-19 protocols, rest as he works his way back from an Achilles injury, and his recent hamstring problem.

When he’s been healthy, Durant has been everything the Nets hoped. He’s averaging 29.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game in his first year in Brooklyn. Because of that production and his star power, Steve Nash is being very careful with his injury.

Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed on Friday that Durant, who was named one of the captains for the All-Star Draft, will sit out through the All-Star break. Indiana Pacers star Domantas Sabonis has already been named as a replacement.

The Nets are being cautious with Kevin Durant.

The Nets’ recent winning streak has come on the back of an ultra-small, Durant-less lineup, which puts Harden and Irving at the center of an alignment that plays at warp speed and shoots as many threes as possible.

While it would be silly to suggest the Brooklyn is better without Durant, Nash has shown he can be more than competent with Durant out of commission. Given how Irving’s move to shooting guard has gone extremely well and Harden’s takeover against Phoenix shows that he can carry the team when they’re down or need clutch buckets, the Nets should feel more than confident playing without Durant.

Early in the season, when the bench was stepping on rakes and hitting themselves in the face every game, KD’s sharpshooting would be needed in the worst way. Now that Brooklyn has calmed things down and look to be lethal on offense without him, they can sit him down and work on getting him 100% healthy for the postseason.

The Nets have the luxury of two Hall of Fame players in Harden and Irving — who have really learned to mesh as of late — to lean on while Durant recovers. The focus should be on properly managing Durant’s health because one hasty move and this team’s championship hopes will take a significant hit.