NBA 2021: There is a “high probability” that Kevin Durant will return to the court this coming week after missing more than seven weeks with a hamstring strain, Brooklyn Nets coach Steve Nash said Saturday.
Nash said there is a chance Durant could play as soon as Monday against the New York Knicks.
“I am not certain on Monday,” Nash said. “I think it’s an outside possibility, but I also couldn’t say he’s in any stretch probable for Monday. I think it’s just wait and see. But it does look positive that this week sometime, there’s a high probability he can return.”
Durant last played on Feb. 13 against the Golden State Warriors. Since then, the Nets have added veterans Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge to their roster.
The Nets’ Big Three of Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden have played just seven games together since Harden was traded to Brooklyn in mid-January
On Thursday, Durant said that he is feeling “great” in his rehabilitation and that he is “progressing pretty well” toward returning to the court.
“Initially, I didn’t think it was that bad, just a regular strain,” Durant said. “Then we got a second scan and they say it was a little deeper than that. It was one of those things where I’m not feeling a ton of pain, but you don’t want to force one of these injuries and make it worse.”
Kevin Durant went on to say that he felt he had to be “smart” and “cautious” with his hamstring. Before Durant was sidelined, he was averaging 29.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 5.3 assists.
When the former league MVP returns, the Nets will be tasked with quickly building chemistry on the fly before the playoffs begin in mid-May.
KD could return Monday against the Knicks
Steve Nash says there’s a “high probability” that Durant returns this next week pic.twitter.com/3PG4KehO3a
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 3, 2021
Steve Nash talks about team chemistry
Nash feels the friendships the group has built off the court should aid the players in meshing well on the floor. Still, Nash said the entire roster needs to play some games together so the Nets can iron out a rotation and jell before the postseason begins.
Nash said he also felt the team needed to play through challenging games, some close games, together and “face some adversity,” so that they have some familiarity before they find themselves facing that in a playoff game.
“I think a lot of first-year teams struggle to compete for a championship if for no other reason than that collective history and experience,” Nash said. “So, that’s something we have to accept and have to overcome.