Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets will be out for at least two weeks in January after suffering an MCL sprain in his right knee Sunday.
Late in the third quarter of the Nets’ one-point win against the Miami Heat, Ben Simmons blocked Jimmy Butler’s shot attempt at the rim. When Simmons rejected the shot, Butler fell to the floor and crashed into the side of Durant’s right knee.
Durant left the game after the incident and did not return.
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
The Brooklyn Nets confirmed the former MVP’s MCL sprain Monday.
“Durant will be reevaluated in two weeks,” the team wrote.
Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant has been diagnosed with an isolated MCL sprain of the right knee. The injury occurred during the third quarter of last night’s game at Miami. Durant will be reevaluated in two weeks.
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) January 9, 2023
Durant’s injury places Brooklyn in a very vulnerable position. Without him on the court, the team could slip in their Eastern Conference playoff standings.
The Nets, who have won 14 of their last 15 games, are currently sitting in the No. 2 spot in the playoff standings, according to ESPN.
Brooklyn will need to rely on point guard Kyrie Irving to post big numbers on the offensive side of the ball in order for Brooklyn to keep their good standing. There’s a serious decline in points per game outside of Durant and Irving.
Durant leads Brooklyn in points per game with 29.7, Irving ranks second with 26.0 and then after them it’s center Nic Claxton, who only has 11.9, according to ESPN.
After seeing how unreliable Irving was during his stint with my Boston Celtics, I don’t think the Nets will be able to withstand Durant’s absence without dropping in the standings. The only way I can see the Nets having success in January is if Irving goes on Kobe Bryant-style offensive performances and carries the team to some wins. (RELATED: College Basketball Players Hospitalized, Head Coach Temporarily Removed Following Brutal Workout)
All of Irving’s off-court antics throughout his career make it hard for me to trust that he’ll post huge numbers. He seems as if he’d rather engage in stupid drama than be a focal point of leadership for his team.
He is the LAST person I would ever want to rely on if my team needed a boost. Unfortunately, he’s Brooklyn’s second-best scorer, and is the only one on their roster capable of going off for 45-50 points on any given night.
I don’t believe in the talent on the Nets to keep up with their winning ways while Durant’s gone. I see them playing average at best in January.