Brooklyn has gone 2-4 so far without Kevin Durant, and not surprisingly the Nets are struggling to score even with Kyrie Irving taking on a larger load — they have a 107.8 offensive rating over those six games, fourth worst in the league.
They will need to find a way to generate offense for a while longer. While Durant is “progressing well” from his sprained knee and will be re-evaluated again in two more weeks — which means he will be out a little longer than that.
Kevin Durant Medical Update: pic.twitter.com/3dGyrIju5P
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) January 24, 2023
As for a return timeline, the Nets are hoping before the All-Star break, allowing Durant to play in the All-Star Game, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic. However, should the Nets do that, or should they tell Durant “stay out until after the All-Star break, get a little extra rest, and be ready to go for the season’s stretch run?”
Durant himself will have a say in this and he wants to play, as he told reporters Tuesday. Via Tim Bontemps of ESPN:
“I want to play tomorrow if I can,” Durant said in his first comments since suffering the injury earlier this month. “So that’s what my sense of urgency is. Obviously, I don’t want to rush anything. I want to make sure I’m 100%. But yeah, I want to play. I want to be a part of all these events.
“I missed going back to Golden State, my previous home. So it’s been three years since I did that. You see all this stuff pass you by, so I want to participate in everything. I know I got to take my time and make sure I do my rehab and get back on the floor.”
Durant was injured in a game a few weeks ago when the Heat’s Jimmy Butler had his shot blocked by Ben Simmons and fell into Durant’s leg.
The Nets say that Kevin Durant is OUT for the remainder of Nets-Heat due to a right knee injury after Jimmy Butler fell on his knee on this play.
Prayers up to KD 🙏 pic.twitter.com/v0PPP9Hfe1
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) January 9, 2023
Durant missed 21 games around the same time last season when Bruce Brown fell into Durant’s other knee on another fluke play. This injury does not appear to be as serious.
Durant has played at an MVP level this season, averaging 30 points a game with an insane 67.5 true shooting percentage, plus adding 6.8 rebounds and 5.4 assists a night. He has been at the heart of Brooklyn’s turnaround this season, and the Nets need him back and healthy to make a playoff run in an East deep with good teams at the top.