Nets’ Kevin Durant (MCL) progressing, out at least 2 more weeks

NEW YORK — Kevin Durant mentioned he’d like to play in subsequent month’s All-Star Game, however he will not do something to disrupt the therapeutic course of from his MCL sprain if it is decided to be in his greatest curiosity to take a seat out till after the break.

“I wish to play tomorrow if I can,” Durant mentioned in his first feedback since struggling the harm earlier this month. “So that is what my sense of urgency is. Obviously, I do not wish to rush something. I wish to be certain that I’m 100%. But yeah, I wish to play. I wish to be part of all these occasions .

“I missed going again to Golden State, my earlier house. So it has been three years since I did that. You see all these items cross you by, so I wish to take part in the whole lot. I do know I bought to take my time and ensure I do my rehab and get again on the ground.”

The Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday introduced that Durant would start working and on-court actions after which could be reevaluated in one other two weeks. He suffered his MCL sprain when Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler by chance fell into his proper knee on Jan. 8.

It is the third time in six years — and the second straight season — that Durant has suffered this actual harm, and all of them occurred in the identical method: a participant by chance falling awkwardly into Durant’s leg. Still, Durant puzzled if he might’ve accomplished one thing otherwise to keep away from being in that place, saying he watched all three performs to see if that was the case.

“That play, I feel Seth [Curry] had guarded Jimmy within the submit, and I ought to have simply doubled, as an alternative of emptying out of the paint slowly,” Durant mentioned. “As I used to be emptying out, I used to be simply standing there watching. I wasn’t even guarding my man. I wasn’t even hitting anyone. So I ought to have ran and doubled and bought Seth off of Jimmy there, and perhaps that would not have occurred.”

That, although, does not change the truth that it occurred, and that Durant and the Nets need to take care of the ramifications. Durant mentioned he wouldn’t be attending the showdown between the streaking Nets and Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday evening (7:30 ET, ESPN). Since James Harden and Ben Simmons have been swapped for one another, that makes it 4 video games, together with a preseason contest in October, with out each groups being at full energy.

Durant mentioned he has gotten into a superb groove throughout his rehab periods and that he did not wish to get out of rhythm by occurring the highway to observe a sport.

But whereas the Nets dropped 4 video games with Durant out of the lineup earlier than wins in Phoenix on Friday and Golden State on Sunday, Durant mentioned there have been too many variables to check this season to final, when the Nets collapsed after he was harm final January.

“I’m not even wanting at it like that,” Durant mentioned. “It’s a unique yr, a unique time. It appears to be like like the identical scenario, nevertheless it’s a unique time. It’s exhausting to check something.

“It’s at all times robust when one among your foremost guys goes out of the lineup and also you’re making an attempt to readjust on the fly like that. It’s going to take a while. It took us 4 video games. Luckily, we nonetheless have been 12, 13 video games over .500, so it was cool to take that little stretch and be taught so we might get higher shifting ahead. It was robust to undergo, nevertheless it was a lot wanted to take these lumps.”

While it’s clearly troublesome for the Nets to be with out their greatest participant — particularly after a stretch through which they went 19-3 to show their season round after their ugly begin — there isn’t any one who’s more annoyed by it than Durant himself. After three injury-plagued seasons to start his time in Brooklyn — lacking the complete 2019-20 season recovering from a torn Achilles, then taking part in a mixed 90 video games over the previous two seasons — Durant had missed just one sport this season till injuring the knee.

And, because of the timing of it, he not solely missed one other return sport in San Francisco, however may even not have the ability to face LeBron James when he comes right here later this month on his chase to catch Kareem Abdul-Jabbar because the NBA’s all-time scoring chief, might miss two matchups with Philadelphia and will additionally miss collaborating in one other All-Star Game on Feb. 19

“Yeah,” Durant mentioned when requested if there was any sense of “Here we go once more” to his newest harm absence. “But I wasn’t feeling sorry for myself.

“I used to be identical to, s—, one other yr of not taking part in towards my outdated teammates. Another yr of, at that time, perhaps lacking the All-Star Game and never taking part in towards LeBron James at house. Stuff like that that I stay up for. On high of taking part in each sport, I simply stay up for that stuff. But it is a part of basketball as effectively.

“Like I mentioned, I might have put myself in a greater place and never get injured. It’s my third time. Feeling nice and a freak harm occurs like this. … It is what it’s.”

Meanwhile, the Nets’ focus in Philadelphia will — as common — be on Simmons, who might be going through his former co-star Joel Embiid for the primary time for the reason that commerce. Nets coach Jacque Vaughn mentioned he desires to see even more aggressiveness and assertiveness with the ball from Simmons going ahead.

“I feel he is positively taken some strides that means,” Vaughn mentioned. “Now it is [doing it for] more possessions. Let’s accomplish that. So a lot more. More We’re gonna proceed to ask more of him.

“We talked about this immediately. Ben may be very comfy with the ball in his palms. … Now we’re asking him to do different issues with the basketball, with out the basketball, and I feel he is rising in these areas. So there’s some area that we’re asking him to develop, in that is a little bit bit completely different, that we predict we are able to make some cash on.”

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