A Brooklyn Nets team that is already dealing with a James Harden injury, LaMarcus Aldridge’s sudden retirement due to a heart condition, and superstar Kevin Durant gradually working his way back from his hamstring problem started off their game against the Miami Heat in just about the worst way possible.
Durant, expected to lead Brooklyn to victory today, didn’t even make it through the first quarter before getting hurt in his big return to action.
It was his left leg that came up lame, and he’s already been ruled out of further action Sunday.
Unfortunately, the questions about how this Big 3 will gel together are only going to get louder, considering they’ve been dissembled yet again.
Durant left the game in the first quarter with what Shams Charania of The Athletic is reporting is a lower leg contusion.
Brooklyn Nets: Kevin Durant has a lower leg contusion.
It is unclear when Durant, who came into this game averaging 28.1 points per game on 53% shooting, could return to the lineup. While some muscle contusions could heal in a few days, bone contusions can last several months.
In an NBA season that has almost been ruined by injuries, the Nets need to hope Durant is alright as they try to steady the ship and bring their ragtag bunch closer to the postseason.
Any issue with a lower leg, of course, could be disastrous after Durant’s lingering hamstring issues. Perhaps his strength and conditioning exercises weren’t up to par during a long layoff. Perhaps this issue will linger, too, far deeper than surface-level.
Kyrie Irving, James Harden and Durant should be an unstoppable combination when on the court as an ensemble, but they haven’t managed to do that nearly often enough this season. Can this team still be taken seriously as a contender? Sure. But the nicks and bruises are adding up.