Since adding James Harden in the blockbuster deal that changed the league’s landscape, the Brooklyn Nets have suffered several setbacks. The most recent bad news comes with regards to star forward Kevin Durant. The Brooklyn Nets announced Durant would miss at least the next two games with a “mild hamstring strain.”
This injury comes after Durant played Saturday night in a win over the Golden State Warriors. Durant missed the previous week of action after the Nets placed him in the leagues’ health and safety protocols. This was following contact and interaction with a member of the team who tested positive for COVID-19.
Since trading for Harden, the Nets have played 15 total games. Out of those 15, Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Durant have only played together in just seven of those games. While their combined talent is undeniable, getting them all on the court together has been a struggle.
Durant has bounced back in a big way following a devastating Achillies injury from two seasons ago. In 19 games played so far this season, Durant is averaging 29 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game. His devastating pull-up jumper looks as good as ever, and he is shooting an outstanding 43.4% from three so far this season. Durants’ numbers this season are his way of reminding us that he should still be considered for the title of the best player in the league.
Durants Absence Adds to Nets Defensive Struggles
The Nets will miss Durants’ play for the period of time he is out with this injury. While there is plenty of offensive firepower to accommodate Durants’ absence, his defense will be sorely missed. It is no mystery that the Nets have been poor on defense ever since acquiring Harden. They rank 6th-last in defensive rating and have allowed the second-most points in the paint on average. While Durant’s claim to fame is more on the offensive end, he is an underrated defender. The Nets will sorely miss his presence on both ends of the court.