The Brooklyn Nets are the likely NBA championship favorite--if they're healthy. Unfortunately, that's a big if.
The 32-year-old missed the entirety of the 2020 season after suffering a torn Achilles injury during the 2019 NBA Finals. He's played in just 24 games this season, including Sunday night's Nets-Heat showdown.
Brooklyn has already ruled out Durant for Tuesday's Nets-Pelicans game, but there is reportedly still room for optimism. Following an evaluation Monday morning, the Nets don't believe Durant's leg injury is too serious. In fact, the All-Star forward is still traveling with the Nets on their current road trip, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post.
This is encouraging news revolving Durant's leg injury.
The Nets' team health is going to be a major question mark as the postseason approaches. Brooklyn's big three - Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving - have yet to play many games together.
We saw what happened to the Los Angeles Clippers when they experienced something similar last season. Load management came back to haunt Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers when they suffered an early playoff exit at the hands of the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference semi-finals.
This last stretch of the regular season is vital for the Nets ahead of the postseason. It looks like Durant should return to the lineup sooner than expected, but it's still unclear when that will be.