While the Brooklyn Nets are now going to be without James Harden for likely at least a week, Kevin Durant is expected to return Wednesday night versus the New Orleans Pelicans. KD has not played in almost two months, with his last game action being a 20-point performance on February 13th. However, Brooklyn has still found ways to win with the absence of Durant. It helps that James Harden has put together an MVP-like season, and Kyrie Irving is playing arguably the best basketball of his career. Still, it’ll be nice to add KD back in the mix even if Harden will be out a few games.
Before the Injury
Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant is expected to return Wednesday vs. New Orleans after missing nearly two months with hamstring strain. He is listed probable to play.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 6, 2021
Kevin Durant was back to his old ways before being hit with the injury bug again. KD was on a tear averaging 29 points a game with five assists and seven rebounds. He was also shooting over 50 percent from the field and 43 percent from three. His season was good enough to be voted in as an All-Star captain, and even though he didn’t play, he still selected his team, which included the other two Nets All-Stars, Kyrie and Harden.
Reason For Concern
Some will argue that the Nets days are numbered. Some also say that Kevin Durant will be hurt again sooner rather than later. I like to make the argument that when a team goes 19-4 without one of the best players in the world, there is no reason to rush him back. Could some make a reason for concern? Sure. As long as two of the three can stay healthy, they will likely make the Eastern Conference Finals at the least. So while a reason for concern could be made, I think this is a unique situation.
What to Expect
The Nets have 21 games remaining this season, and they should win more than they lose. They have a rough May ahead of them with back-to-backs against the Bucks, followed by Dallas and Denver. Either way, this team has the ceiling of a one seems and a floor of a three seed. Harden will likely be back by the rough stretch in May, and the big three of Brooklyn should be playing as a unit. Time will only tell, but I think there is more reason for optimism than pessimism. With Kevin Durant back in the lineup, the Nets only become more lethal.